Rebel Akalis call for Badals’ ouster

Hold convention in Delhi, say will depoliticise Sikh institutions

Rebel Akalis call for Badals’ ouster

Leaders at their convention in New Delhi on Saturday. Tribune Photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Ravi S Singh

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 18

In a show of strength, Akali leaders from Punjab and Delhi, who have raised a banner of revolt against SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, on Saturday reiterated their demand for his resignation and called for liberating the party and Sikh religious institutions from the Badals.

Resolutions passed

  • Bar on political leaders from contesting elections of religious bodies

  • Timely elections of the SGPC, DSGMC

  • Setting up of a research board to spread facts on Sikh history and to digitise it

They pledged to launch a movement with an agenda to reclaim the glory and principles of the “original” SAD, which was floated in 1920, and which, according to them, had been “diminished” by the Badals.

The convention was organised by Manjit Singh (GK) and Paramjeet Singh Sarna, heads of JAGO (a political party) and Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi), respectively, under the patronage of Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, who was recently suspended from the SAD along with his son Parminder Singh Dhindsa, a sitting MLA and former Finance Minister.

Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali) president and former MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and his son Ravinder Singh Brahmpura, former Union Minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, former Punjab Assembly Speaker and president of the SAD (1920) Ravi Inder Singh, former ministers Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Sewa Singh Sekhawan were among those who addressed the convention.

‘SAD has become undemocratic’

Sukhbir didn’t resign even after losing the election. I tried to persuade Parkash Singh Badal to constitute a panel to introspect on the cause of defeat and find a way forward, but in vain.

SS Dhindsa, Rajya Sabha MP

Religious preacher Baljit Singh Daduwal, who had led the Bargari agitation, also spoke on the occasion.

Addressing the convention, Dhindsa alleged that he and others leaders had to part ways with the SAD as it had become undemocratic. He said, “Sukhbir did not resign even after losing the election. I tried to persuade Parkash Singh Badal to constitute a committee to introspect on the cause of the defeat and find a way forward, but in vain. So we quit the party with a heavy heart.”

“The SGPC has been politicised as never before. Decisions are being imposed on the party and the SGPC,” Brahmpura and Ramoowalia spoke in similar vein.

The resolutions included bar on political leaders from contesting elections of religious bodies. Timely and regular elections of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) were also demanded.

The constitution of a Sikh Research Board to spread information about facts relating to the Sikh history and to preserve it digitally was included in the agenda. Efforts will also be made to implement the resolutions of “Khalsa Panth” passed periodically since the Independence.

Besides, efforts will be made to reclaim Gurdwara Gyan Godri (Haridwar), Gurdwara Gurudongmar Sahib ( Sikkim) and Mangu Math (Odisha) from the respective government’s jurisdiction.

It was also resolved to de-politicise the SGPC and the DSGMC. Manjit Singh (GK) and Sarna were lauded for organising the convention, which was claimed to be the second after the one held in Amritsar.

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