Radical Sikh group Dal Khalsa to stay away from polls, seeks referendum in Punjab

Dal Khalsa president Harpal Singh Cheema said the party had no expectations from the upcoming parliamentary elections as all mainstream parties are chips off the same block

Published: 03rd May 2019 04:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th August 2019 06:00 PM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only. (Photo | Bloomberg)

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: Asserting that the democratic system was not conducive to attaining a sovereign Punjab through the current electoral processes, radical Sikh organization Dal Khalsa on Friday resolved to stay away from the upcoming elections to be held on May 19.

The hardline Sikh group endorsed the stand of the Hurriyat Conference to boycott elections in Jammu and Kashmir and that of the NSCN (IM) in Nagaland and said it maintains an affinity and rapport with the separatist struggles in those states.

Presenting its viewpoint on parliamentary elections, Dal Khalsa president Harpal Singh Cheema released the party’s no-election policy document declaring that elections can’t be a substitute to the right to self-determination.

Cheema said Punjab needed a referendum under the UN and not elections. He categorically affirmed that they are neither against democracy nor a democratic system. The organization envisages an arrangement like Quebec in Canada and Scotland in the United Kingdom.

Without the right to self-determination, elections are meaningless, said the party head, adding that Sikh aspirations were too dear to be sacrificed at the altar of such a game of elections where money, liquor, drugs and even caste and class are key factors.

Cheema said the party had no expectations from the upcoming parliamentary elections as all mainstream parties are chips off the same block. All political parties, be it Congress, AAP or BJP-SAD combine, have an identical agenda when it comes to crushing Sikh aspirations, he said.

The Dal Khalsa document saluted the martyrdom of those who laid down their lives in the struggle for Khalistan.

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