CHANDIGARH: Senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader and Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa has resigned as group leader of the party (Akali Dal) from the upper house amid his increasing closeness to the BJP, which had also conferred Padma Bhushan on him earlier this year.
His decision comes hours before the commencement of bypolls in Punjab, thus triggering speculations that he might part ways from the party.
It is learnt that Dhindsa met chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and submitted his resignation from the post the group leader of the party but has not resigned from the membership. Naidu has forwarded the communication to the Secretariat, Rajya Sabha.
"He was not keen on continuing as leader of the party, but would continue to be a member of the Upper House,’’ said a close aid.
Dhindsa had resigned from all positions of SAD last year in September and expressed his displeasure with the working of SAD president Sukhbir Badal. However, several attempts were made from the party's end but it yielded no result.
In the recent Lok Sabha elections, he had sought votes for the BJP but did not campaign for his son Parminder Singh Dhindsa who was SAD’s candidate from Sangrur.