Sikh hardliner groups, especially Dal Khalsa and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD-Panch Pardhani), cold-shouldered firebrand Sikh leader Simranjit Singh Mann at the Shaheedi Jor Mela on Wednesday.
No leader of both groups turned up for the political conference of the Mann-led Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar). Also, no leader of the Khalsa Action Committee shared the dais with Mann. The absence of Baba Baljit Singh Daduwal was attributed to his arrest in Amritsar by the Haryana police in a case registered in 2007.
Giving a call for unity, Mann had extended an invitation to these radical groups to address the congregation from his party's platform. In a departure from his stubborn image, he had recently made a pact with the Dera Radha Soami Beas management and its head Baba Gurvinder Singh Dhillon to resolve the controversy over the Waraich gurdwara demolition.
In his address, Mann reiterated his demand for Khalistan and expressed concern over deteriorating law and order condition in the state.
As per political observers, sharp differences between these groups and the SAD (Amritsar) have not been ironed out despite efforts by former MP Dhian Singh Mand and former IAS officer Gurtej Singh.