Chandigarh : Even as the Bassi Pathana rebel Congress candidate Harnek Singh Diwana retired from the poll race in favour of the official Congress nominee Gurpreet Singh GP, Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday expelled another dissident for his anti-party activities.
A Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) office order, signed by Captain Amarinder, said Balbir Singh Sidhu, rebel candidate from Talwandi Sabo “is hereby expelled for anti-party activities with immediate effect. Sidhu is the 18th rebel candidate of the Congress to be expelled for refusing to withdraw or retire from the assembly election race.
Earlier in the day, however, heeding party president Captain Amarinder Singh’s appeal to withdraw in the interest of the party and the state, the Bassi Pathana rebel Congress candidate Harnek Singh Diwana announced his decision to retire from the poll race in favour of the official Congress nominee Gurpreet Singh GP.
Harnek, who was Secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), announced his withdrawal from the elections, saying he would whole-heartedly support Gurpreet Singh GP in the interest of the party and the state.
Harnek, a close confidant of late Punjab Minister Captain Kanwaljit Singh, had resigned from the primary membership of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in 2009 to join the PPCC.
An ex-serviceman, he had filed his nomination papers from Bassi Pathana after being denied the Congress ticket for the 2017 assembly elections.
Several other party rebels have already left the race after Captain Amarinder’s personal appeal. Of those who refused to surrender, the party has now expelled 18, including Sidhu, with Captain Amarinder making it clear that they would not be allowed re-entry into the Congress.