CHANDIGARH: In what is being seen as a rebellion, Shiromani Akali Dal MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and two other senior leaders expressed displeasure with their party leadership on Sunday.
Without naming SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, the troika of Brahmpura, Rattan Singh Ajnala and Sewa Singh Sekhwan asserted that no individual is above the party.
“Leaders come and go. We will put all efforts to rebuild the grand old party and bring it back to its old glory,” they said, adding that the sanctity of the party, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and the Akal Takht was damaged in the present circumstances and it had to be re-built.
The development couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time for the Badals as veteran leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa had resigned from all party posts on Sunday. But Sukhbir can breathe easy as the three Akali leaders put all speculation to rest that they might resign. “We have given our lives to the party. We will not leave it at any cost,” Brahmpura, Ajnala and Sekhwan announced.
Referring to the Centre’s notification on acquiring rights to fill the vacant posts in the Chandigarh Administration, the trio said the MHA’s ‘anti-Punjab move’ would not be tolerated. “If it (the Centre) continues to do so they (the Akali leadership ) may consider to break the alliance with the BJP as Punjab comes first for the party,” they said.
There is resentment among the top and veteran Akali leadership leaders over handling of issues related to sacrilege, in the Vidhan Sabha. These leaders are in touch with another dissident leader from Malwa region, who had questioned decisions taken by Sukhbir in dealing with the political storm emerging after the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report was tabled earlier this month.
The Akali leaders are trying to contain the dissent that threatens to break away the opposition party vertically.
Incidentally, Dhindsa was not present in the SAD’s first ‘Jabar Virodhi’ rally at Faridkot last week. But his son and former Punjab finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa was present in the rally. Dhindsa had also opposed Sukhbir for side-lining the Akali stalwarts, suggesting him to give preference to the veterans.
Cong takes swipe at Badals
Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said senior Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa “sacrificed” his political career due to the “misdeeds” of the Badals. He demanded that they should show courage by giving the party’s responsibility to any “competent leader”.
Jakhar accused former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir of indulging in politics in the name of ‘Panth’.