The Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP leadership has cancelled its proposed sit-in protest on Friday in front of Punjab Raj Bhawan after their plan was punctured by a message conveyed on behalf of governor Shivraj Patil, who invited the leaders joining this protest to come inside and air their views.
Apparently outwitted by this move of the governor, on whose behalf the SAD-BJP leadership was told that Patil wanted to hear grievances of agitating leaders himself inside Raj Bhawan, the plan to hold the sit-in was cancelled. Instead, the leaders led by SAD president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and state BJP chief Kamal Sharma will peacefully visit the Raj Bhawan and hand over a memorandum to Patil, highlighting the Centre's "discriminatory and step-motherly treatment" towards Punjab by the Congress-led UPA government.
SAD spokesperson Dr Daljit Singh Cheema confirmed the development, admitting that Patil played a smart move.
Sources in the SAD say that after the Raj Bhawan informed that the governor wanted to give a patient hearing to all agitating leaders and conveyed that the protesters should come inside, the plan to hold the protest was dropped. "When the gates of Raj Bhawan are being opened for us, holding a protest will be meaningless," a SAD leader said.
The core committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday had decided that SAD-BJP legislators would hold a protest in front of Punjab Raj Bhawan on Friday against the union government's decision to extend industrial concessions to neighbouring hill states.
The core committee of the SAD, in consultation with its ally, the BJP, had decided to organise this protest dharna in which the SAD-BJP legislators and MPs were to participate. Now, they will present a memorandum to the governor.