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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Will never poach from BJP, says Badal

Navrajdeep Singh , Hindustan Times  Patiala, August 28, 2014
First Published: 11:07 IST(28/8/2014) | Last Updated: 11:08 IST(28/8/2014)

Reacting strongly to Bharatiya Janata Party’s poaching Shiromani Akali Dal leaders, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has said the SAD wouldn’t do that to the ally.

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Badal made the statement in the presence of cabinet minister Anil Joshi of the BJP, when both were at Patiala Medical College on Wednesday as dignitaries at the annual convocation. On Monday in Jammu, former director general of police (DGP) Paramdeep Singh Gill, who lost on the Akali ticket from Moga in the 2012 assembly election, joined the saffron party in presence of its national president, Amit Shah.

“The SAD doors are open round the clock to leaders from the Congress and other parties but I won’t allow in any BJP leader, senior or junior,” said Badal. After Gill’s entering the BJP, Badal had called the move “unethical” and on Tuesday accused the BJP of poaching leaders from the alliance partners.

“The (Shiromani) Akali Dal has never done this. We never accepted any BJP leaders into our party in the past and will not do so even in future,” said the chief minister.

Holding the Congress-led states responsible for the “unrest in the Sikh community”, Badal said the Congress leaders in those states were raised issues related to Sikhs and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) just for the sake of playing politics. “Be it the diluting of the SGPC representation on Takht Sri Hazur Sahib Board at Nanded in Maharashtra or the matter of Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, the respective state governments have played with Sikh sentiments to garner votes in the upcoming state elections,” he said.

About the Hazur Sahib controversy, Badal said: “What is the need to change a system working fine for the past 40 years. The Maharashtra government should rethink.”

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