Revolt in SAD: Senior leaders ask Badal to quit party leadership

Wednesday 03rd July 2024 09:57 EDT

Chandigarh: A revolt erupted in Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), days after the party’s rout in the Lok Sabha polls in Punjab, with a sizeable section of senior netas urging SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal to hand over the party’s reins in the spirit of “tyag” (sacrifice) to someone “who can maintain a balance between religion and politics”.
The faction loyal to Badal hit back with district presidents and constituency in charges passing a resolution expressing “full faith” in his leadership and strongly condemning “deep rooted conspiracies by BJP” to divide and weaken the party by using central agencies and “some selfish and opportunistic elements”. A total 33 of the existing 35 district presidents and 96 of the existing 105 constituency in-charges lauded Badal’s leadership.
Badal said at a meeting at the party’s headquarters in Chandigarh: “I cannot allow SAD to become a puppet of anti-Panth designs. Those ready to betray Panth, Punjab, farmers and the deprived sections of the people are free to follow their course.”
A significant section of SAD’s core vote base - the Sikhs - have turned against the party since the Bargari sacrilege and Behbal Kalan police firing in 2015 during the SAD-BJP regime. The slide has continued in successive elections and bypolls since 2017: in the recent Lok Sabha polls, SAD won just one of the 13 seats in Punjab.
After a five-hour meeting in Jalandhar, the faction opposed to Badal announced the launch of ‘SAD Bachao Lehar (Save SAD Move ment)’ from the Akal Takht. During this campaign, SAD will contact sympathisers of the Panth, intellectuals, and others to seek their suggestions to “save the party”.
Senior SAD member Prem Singh Chandumajra said: “We have appealed to Sukhbir Singh Badal that he should respect and accept the sentiments of workers and people and hand over the leadership of the party.”

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