Express News Service
CHANDIGARH: Not all is well in Shiromani Akali Dal as senior party leaders have now raised questions over the party president Sukhbir Singh Badal’s decision to boycott the recent assembly session and not to participate in the debate on Justice (Retd) Ranjit Singh Commission report on sacrilege incidents which took place three years ago in which former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal is indicted.
But projecting a united face these senior leaders said the party would unitedly fight the conspiracy hatched by the Congress.
This is perhaps for the first time that the senior leaders, who have been side-lined since the last assembly election, have openly spoken against a decision taken by party president Sukhbir Badal.
The party has been placed in this position at the time when he had started projecting Akali Dal as representative of the Sikhs.
In the process, he has gone to the extent of hitting a section of the hard-line Sikh leaders and preachers demanding punishment for the guilty first as agents of the Congress.
The party boycotted the debate on the report of the commission in the assembly and this strategy has positioned the Akali Dal on the other side of the Sikh religio-political dynamics.
The basic issue is not the commission and its report but incidents of sacrilege, related police firing and the way the highest Sikh institutions including the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee(SGPC) and the Akal Takht, the supreme institution of Sikhs were denigrated and dictated to pardon Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim to seek support as vote bank politics.
The senior leaders have reportedly conveyed Sukhbir that the party seems to be losing the public perception battle and that it was not even on course correction.
Top leadership including Prem Singh Chandumajra, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Tota Singh and Sewa Singh Sekhwan have raised this question over the decision to boycott the debate, during the core committee meeting of the party held here last night.
A few other senior leaders have reportedly told the party president in clear words that how it has helped the ruling the Congress to project itself as a party which supports the Sikh panth and is takes the panthic issues seriously.
Besides how the Akali dal which has always been a panthic party is losing ground and is being described as `anti-panthic’.
A top party leader on condition of anonymity agrees that the Congress had been successful is projecting itself as the party which cares about the panth by clearly using the commission report. Another senior leader of the party said that he personally feels that the party legislators should have stayed in the assembly and defended the party and it’s patriarch Parkash Singh Badal themselves despite just been given the 14 minute time by the speaker on this issue.
Meanwhile projecting a united face senior Shiromani Akali Dal leadership today said the party would unitedly fight the conspiracy hatched by the Congress in league with radical groups to belittle the contribution of SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal towards the Sikh panth as well as Punjab.
Terming the recent attempts to tarnish the image of the longest-serving legislator and five times chief minister, senior most SAD leaders Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Balwinder Singh Bhundur, Tota Singh and Sewa Singh Sekhwan said the Congress party was targeting the Sikh panth as well as trying to divide the community as per its old policy of divide and rule by leading a malicious and mischievous campaign against former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
“Instead of pointing fingers at a towering personality who has been jailed for sixteen years in the duty of the people, chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh should tell why he was talking with the centre on the eve of Operation Blue Star. The chief minister has also made it clear the Badal did not fall into his trap and did not accompany him to Delhi”, they added.
The senior leaders said it was on record that even the biased and politicized Ranjit Singh Commission, which had been rejected by the SAD, had failed to indict Sardar Badal despite its best attempts.
They said the retired judge had noted down in his report that the State police informed him that Badal had given directions that the situation post sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and resultant protests be handled with sensitivity and that no one responsible for the sacrilege should be spared.