From working behind the curtains, he has emerged as a person setting agendas for the Shiromani Akali Dal as the grand old party struggles to regain its lost glory, and relevance, in Punjab politics after getting reduced to three MLAs in the 117-member Vidhan Sabha.
Gurjeet Singh Talwandi, a Youth Akali Dal leader, hit the headlines when the Aam Aadmi Party government informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it will be rescinding an earlier decision to dissolve the panchayats. The government made the submission in response to a plea filed by Talwandi and several gram panchayats. The government’s U-turn gave the Akali Dal the much-needed shot in the arm in its campaign against the ruling AAP even as Talwandi strengthened his position.
India vs Pakistan Live Score, Asia Cup 2023: Play called off in Colombo, will resume on reserve day
Jawan box office collection day 3: Shah Rukh Khan-starrer earns Rs 384.69 crore worldwide
Grandson of Jagdev Singh Talwandi, a former chief of Akali Dal and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Talwandi in December 2021 had played a pivotal role in getting Ranjit Singh Brahampura (now deceased) back into the party fold. Till then he used to write Cheema as his surname.
“That day I was driving Parkash Singh Badal sahib (Akali patron, now deceased) to meet Brahampura sahib. When the two leaders met, Brahampura sahib pointed towards me and told Badal sahib that ‘we should bring such party leaders in the forefront’. To this, Badal sahib turned to me and said ‘Cheema aj ton tu Talwandi hain. Cheema hata de (Today onwards you are Talwandi, remove Cheema as your surname),” the 35-year-old told The Indian Express.
Talwandi is a village in Ludhiana district, but falls in parliamentary constituency of Fatehgarh Sahib.
Prior to the filing the public interest litigation (PIL) challenging dissolution of panchayats six months before their tenure ends, Talwandi had set the narrative on alleged government apathy to tackle floods, blaming Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann of “careless attitude”, leading to “disastrous consequences borne by Punjabis”. On July 10, he went to Ropar Headworks on Sutlej river and posted a video highlighting advance Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) warning for heavy rain in Punjab and accusing the AAP government of not taking the preventive and requisite steps to tackle floods. Prior to that, he had termed the proposed Uniform Civil Code (UCC) as a “historic opportunity to get Sikhism recognised as a separate religion in the Constitution”.