Badals suffer setback as dissident Akali leaders elect Dhindsa as president of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)
Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and his son Parminder Singh Dhindsa, a former Punjab finance minister, were expelled from the SAD in February this year for their alleged anti-party activities
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) – controlled by the Badals – suffered a major setback on Tuesday with a faction of dissident Akali leaders ‘electing’ senior Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa as the SAD president in Ludhiana. The development, however, has been dubbed as “illegal and fraud” by the party headed by Sukhbir Singh Badal, former Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab.
The dissident Akali leaders held a meeting in a Ludhiana based Gurdwara and declared Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa as the president of the SAD amidst slogans of “jo bole so nihal”.
Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and his son Parminder Singh Dhindsa, a former Punjab finance minister, were expelled from the SAD in February this year for their alleged anti-party activities. The Dhindsas later joined hands with the party’s splinter groups, including the SAD (Taksali).
Proposing the name of Dhindsa for the post of the president, two-time Lok Sabha member Parminder Kaur Gulshan said the Sangrur convention held recently under the chairmanship of the leader had “removed” Sukhbir Singh Badal from the post of the party president, reported PTI.
Gulshan said Dhindsa, the “newly elected president” of the SAD, will function from the party office in Amritsar. Jagdish Singh Garcha and Harjit Kaur Talwandi, daughter of former party president the late Jagdev Singh Talwandi, seconded the proposal.
Meanwhile, senior SAD leader and general secretary Daljeet Singh Cheema has described this move as “illegal and fraud”, accusing the expelled leader of acting at the behest of the Congress. Cheema said the SAD is a 100-year-old party which is registered with the Election Commission of India. “What they have done is 100 per cent fraud. It is illegal and amounts to forgery. They are doing it at the behest of the Congress,” alleged Cheema.
The SAD had earlier alleged that the Rajya Sabha MP and his son Parminder Dhindsa were being used as “pawns” by the Congress in a bid to weaken the “panthic” party.
However, Dhindsa on the occasion said the party will strive hard to establish the eroded principles of the Sikh politics and liberate Sikh institutions from the “clutches” of Badals. Dhindsa asserted that they would fight to solve major issues of Punjab and to strengthen the federal system in the country. The party will pay special attention to the farming community and work for improving the condition of the Dalits and minorities, he said, adding that the party will work for the eradication of mafias involved in “looting” sand, transport, liquor and other natural resources of the state.
Former Union minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia; Manjit Singh GK, former president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC); former state deputy speaker Bir Davinder Singh; SAD
(Taksali) leader Sewa Singh Sekhwan; ex-Punjab minister Jagdish Singh Garcha and his brother Maan Singh Charcha; and Parminder Singh Dhindsa were present on the occasion.