M A I N   N E W S

SAD sounds poll bugle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
The main Opposition party in Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), today sounded the electoral bugle by announcing the party’s programme comprising a series of political conferences starting from January 2 next year. This is to create a “people’s movement”. The party also coined a slogan, “Defeat Congress, save Punjab”.

The SAD President and former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, told reporters after chairing a meeting of the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) here, that his party’s main aim was to create a “lok lehar” (people’s movement) in Punjab to oust the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government.

Mr Badal said the campaign would be launched from the Raikot Assembly constituency in Ludhiana district. The campaign would be in the form of a people’s movement to create awareness amongst the masses about the “misdeeds and non-governance” of the state government, he added.

The first rally would be followed by rallies on January 31 (Sangrur); February 7 (Majitha); February 9 (Sahnewal); February 15 (Fatehgarh Churian); and March 27 (Ferozepore Cantt). The SAD had also planned rallies in all Assembly segments.

This would be followed by a Dalit “chetna rally” on February 18 at Kartarpur and an employees’ rally on February 24 in Jalandhar.

As in the case of its ally, the BJP, the SAD had also decided to conduct a study camp with the theme “elections” for party MLAs, MPs and former MLAs and MPs and different organisations of the Akali Dal. Members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee would also participate in this.

Mr Badal said the study camp would be held at Anandpur Sahib on January 23 and 24. “The Assembly elections will be the major issue to figure in this camp,” he said.

Mr Badal also released a 32-page booklet on elections. This details each major programme and gives a detailed comparison between the Congress and the Akalis.

The people’s movement would be a year-long programme, said Mr Badal.

The SAD also passed resolutions demanding an apology from the government for suicide by farmers and also compensation for their families. The SAD also expressed concern over power shortage in Punjab. The Congress had stopped all good work started by the Akalis, Mr Badal said.

The Akali leader supported the recent decision of Parliament to expel 11 members for their alleged involvement in the cash-for-questions scandal, but asserted that the party would continue its electoral alliance with the BJP. “This will in no way have any bearing on the SAD’s alliance with the BJP,” the leader of the SAD Legislature Party in Parliament and the party’s general secretary, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, who was present at the PAC, told reporters.

Clarifying the party’s role when the BJP staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha over this issue, Mr Dhindsa said: “SAD members were not present in the House when the BJP staged the walkout. I spoke in favour of the motion for expelling the MPs”.

Immediately thereafter, the party members left the House as many of us had to catch trains and were busy in other things, Mr Dhindsa said.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |