CHANDIGARH: Citing his ‘deteriorating health', senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa on Sunday submitted his resignation from all posts in the party.
The Akali veteran, who stood by the Badal family like a rock throughout his political career, sent his resignation to SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal. Dhindsa, however, said he would continue to be a member of Akali Dal.
For the Badal family, the resignation comes at a time when the party is facing political crisis in the aftermath of the tabling of the Justice (Retd) Ranjit Singh Commission report on sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and Bargari firing.
"For the last six decades, I have been committed to public life and community. I am thankful to the party for always giving me respect and honour," he said, expressing satisfaction that he could serve the society with full conviction. The veteran leader also thanked the party leadership for assigning him important responsibilities.
At a time when there is an outrage within the Akali leadership over the issue, Dhindsa had defended the party brass. Incidentally, the Akali veteran did not attend the party's Jabar Virodhi rally at Faridkot last week even as his son and former finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa was present there. Dhindsa's resignation has come just a week before his party's rally in Patiala slated for October 7.
Earlier this month, Dhindsa had sought the resignation of Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh for pardoning Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh in a blasphemy case. This was for the first time that the veteran openly spoke against the jathedar.
The grapevine in the party circles was that Dhinsa, who had lost the Lok Sabha elections to AAP's Bhagwant Mann of AAP by a whopping margin of over 2 lakh votes in Sangrur, might not be given party ticket this time for the 2019 general elections.