In a major setback for Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), one of his most prominent faces and the chairman of his youth wing in Ludhiana Gurdeep Singh Gosha joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday.
Gosha handed in his resignation letter to SAD leaders in the morning, stepping down from all posts, including that of Unit Leader Ludhiana of Youth Akali Dal (YAD) before joining the saffron fold.
According to sources, Gosha was keen to fight Vidhan Sabha’s election and felt marginalized after being ignored during the ticket distribution.
Considered a close confidant of SAD chief Bikram Singh Majithia, who was recently convicted of a drug case, Gosha vehemently protested against the congressional-led state government over the affair.
Gosha was considering a ticket from Ludhiana’s central constituency earlier, but the Panthic Party nominated veteran leader Pritpal Singh Pali for the seat. Subsequently, Gosha turned his attention to Atam Nagar and the constituency of Ludhiana South. In May last year, Gosha clashed with party leader Lok Insaaf (LIP) Simarjit Singh Bains over a road project. However, here, too, he was ignored and veteran party leader and senior lawyer Harish Rai Dhanda, who is fighting the case of a woman who made rape allegations against Bains, was offered the ticket.
Gosha then started working to land a ticket in Ludhiana South or North constituency, but SAD opted for old horse Hira Singh Gabria and BJP defector and former senior mayor RD Sharma from South and North constituencies. respectively.
Not new to controversies
Gosha, along with her party colleague Meetpal Singh Dugri, had made national headlines after allegedly disfiguring the statue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in a public park in the Salem Tabri area on December 25, 2018.
He also spoke out in favor of farmers’ unions and opposed the three controversial agricultural laws of the central government led by the BJP.
Gosha was convicted by the former Akali regime for making provocative speeches during the statewide bandh in 2012 against the planned execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted of the assassination of the former Chief Minister Beant Singh.
Gosha had started his career as a worker at SAD (Delhi Youth Wing) and rose through the ranks to become the district president of YAD.
A puzzle for the Badal
Gosha had become a puzzle to the then Akali regime led by Parkash Singh Badal and instantly rose to prominence for his harsh criticism of Patriarch SAD and Congress. His name was also featured in some quarrels that took place at Chaura Bazar.
Later he parted ways with SAD (Delhi) and joined SAD (Badal) and enjoyed the support of Bikram Singh Majithia.
However, he quickly ran into trouble when National Secretary General of Youth Akali Dal (YAD) and Antarashtri Naat Academy President Santokh Singh Sukhana committed suicide in a hotel room near Kotwali in 2015.
Sukhana, in his suicide note, had criticized Gosha for allegedly usurping the money he (Sukhana) had given to Gosha. However, Gosha was exonerated in the investigation.
Recently, he launched a Save Business Front against “the arbitrariness of government officials”. He is also a member of the gurdwara trust.