“They want to do the same as they did in Maharashtra. The SAD is united and they are going to fail. Out of the 117 leaders, only 5 leaders are against Sukhbir Badal, while 112 leaders are standing with the party and Sukhbir Badal…,” Harsimrat Kaur Badal said.

In a party resolution on Tuesday, the SAD said, “SAD president urges ‘frustrated politicians’ to learn from Maharashtra. The BJP broke up regional party but people rejected the dummy creation.”

Crisis in SAD?

The Shiromani Akal Dal (SAD) is facing a crisis after senior leaders, including Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Bidi Jagir Kaur, among others, launched a revolt against party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, demanding change in the leadership after the party’s severe drubbing in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

Some leaders of the party held a meeting in Jalandhar seeking Badal’s resignation. However, some other leaders in the Akali Dal continue to repose faith in Badal.

Rebel leader Parminder Singh Dhindsa held a meeting in Jalandhar on Tuesday in which workers and senior leaders expressed their views openly to revive the party.

 

Dhindsa said that the leaders and workers have expressed concern over the defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, in which out of the 13 parliamentary states in Punjab the SAD managed towin only one seat. The Bathinda Lok Sabha seat was retained by Badal’s wife Harsimrat.

Sukhbir Singh Badal ‘never listens’

According to former Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Bibi Jagir Kaur, whenever they tried to discuss anything with Badal, he did not listen to them.

“There was a discussion regarding what we lost and gained in recent times. All supporters of SAD (Shiromani Akali Dal) are worried about how to rise back from the situation in which we are. We have tried to speak to the party chief (Sukhbir Singh Badal) but he never listens to us,” Kaur told ANI.

“He does not try to rectify the shortcomings. So everyone thought that if the SAD is to be strengthened, then all of us should sit together and have a discussion… We are worried about why the people of Punjab are not accepting us. We will go to the Akal Takht Sahib on July 1 and ask for forgiveness for the losses that occurred because of our silence,” Kaur said.

‘Operation Lotus’?

SAD leader Paramjit Singh said, “…I will prove that this is Operation Lotus… BJP wants to weaken and finish all regional parties. We will not let that happen…”

Meanwhile, the party resolution passed on Tuesday stated that the BJP and its “agencies” are behind the attempts to “weaken or break” Shiromani Akali Dal. “Frustrated elements sponsored by BJP to float parallel party or weaken party from within,” the SAD stated.

In a post on X on Tuesday, the SAD said, “Shiromani Akali Dal Working Committee reposes complete faith in the leadership of party president S Sukhbir Singh Badal and urges detractors not to play into the hands of Panth’s enemies. The committee asks the president to lead the efforts to expose conspiracies against the party, Panth and Punjab.

Akali Dal leader Daljit Singh Cheema said on Tuesday that the SAD is analysing and introspecting the remarks. “In a democracy, there is always a difference of opinion. If one or two people have a difference of opinion, then it is not a revolt. But there is a system. Party analysis and introspection are still going on.”

Cheema said that a working committee meeting of the party will be held today.

 

“If you express your opinion before the meeting, then that becomes doubtful. It looks preplanned. It looks as if you are not interested in the improvement or upliftment of the party and you said something just because you wanted to. Otherwise, there was a need to wait. They should have participated and listened to what others had to say. After that, they could have presented their views,” Cheema said.

Talking to ANI yesterday, Cheema said, “We are reviewing the reasons behind our performance in Lok Sabha elections…SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal had earlier stated if the party wanted he would step down from the post of President but all the district presidents and constituency incharges refused…SAD is a very strong and disciplined party and we are hopeful that the party will move forward with strength…”

SAD party’s core committee member, Balwinder Singh Bhundal, who held another meeting to support Sukhbir Singh Badal, said that 99 per cent of the members are standing with him.

“The way the workers have attended today’s meeting shows that 99 per cent of the Akali Dal members are standing with the party chief, Sukhbir Singh Badal. The party chief is not changed at the behest of a few people,” Bhundal said.

Bhundal further said there was no question of forming any alliance with the BJP in the future. “Neither now nor in the future will we make any compromise with the BJP. We will not take any action against those who are trying to show their solidarity by separating from the party. Our elders have built this party by making sacrifices. There is no need to separate those who are already talking about separating from the party or going outside. It is their own wish and freedom,” he the senior Akali Dal leader said.

 

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Published: 26 Jun 2024, 04:13 PM IST