On being expelled from the party today, Punjab Shiv Sena’s deposed head Harish Singla said the head of the state unit of the party had no right to oust him although the organisation’s state chief could induct new members. Singla had given a call for the anti-Khalistan march that was taken out today in Patiala.
This morning, police opened fire to disperse Shiv Sena activists and members of the Nihang Sikh community as tension gripped the city after the latter blocked streets, brandished swords and raised pro-Khalistan slogans and the former challenged them.
Yograj Sharma, state chief of the Shiv Sena, said in a press release that the party had expelled Singla, who claims to be the working president of the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), for “anti-party activities” following orders from Uddhav Thackeray, youth wing chief Aditya Thackeray and national secretary Anil Desai.
Singla said Sharma had “no right” to expel him, “as chief of the Sena in Punjab, he can only induct new members but cannot expel a senior leader like me”.
Singla said that in Punjab, the party was known as the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) to differentiate it from over a dozen other factions.
“We had clarified to the Patiala police around 10 days ago that the Shiv Sena had nothing to do with the call given by Harish Singla and that it was Singla’s personal programme and not a party programme,” he said.
Singla said the anti-Khalistan protest march had been announced around 15 days ago after Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of the banned outfit Sikhs for Justice gave a call to observe “Khalistan Sthapna Diwas (Khalistan foundation day) at district police offices in Haryana”.
“If they can raise pro-Khalistani slogans at various events, why can’t we raise anti-Khalistani slogans? Thousands of Hindus were killed during the militancy in Punjab,” said Singla.
The expelled Shiv Sena leader said that he had called a meeting to decide his future course of action.
As per Shiv Sena press secretary Jugal Kishore Loomba, the Shiv Sena factions in the state are the Shiv Sena (Kesri), Shiv Sena (Bhagwa), Shiv Sena (Taksali), Shiv Sena Punjab, Rashtravadi Shiv Sena, Shiv Sena (Amritsar), Shiv Sena (Inquilab), Shiv Sena (Hind) and the Shiv Sena (Hindustan).