Dhindsa: Will ‘revive’ SAD before centenary celebrations next year

To meet SAD (T) leaders today to chalk out year-long plan to ‘liberate’ party from Badals’ control; Dhindsa Jr skips event
Published on Dec 18, 2019 11:33 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByAvtar Singh, Sangrur

Veteran Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said on Wednesday that they will formulate a year-long plan to revive the lost glory of the party.

At a parallel function organised by splinter groups of the SAD to commemorate the party’s 99th foundation day on December 14, Dhindsa had sought support of “like-minded” outfits to liberate the party from the clutches of the Badal family and also restore the democracy in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

Addressing a meeting of his supporters, members of religious, political and social outfits to “discuss future course of action” at his residence here, Dhindsa said: “Though it was an informal meeting, you (supporters) came in large numbers. No SAD worker needs to quit the party. Even I will not resign. However, if they (party president Sukhbir Singh Badal) expel us, it will be their decision because they have been expelling many committed Akali leaders since long,” said Dhindsa.

The meeting was not attended by his son, Lehragaga MLA and former minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, but the district leadership of the SAD’s ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was present.

Addressing the meeting, Dhindsa lashed out at Sukhbir blaming him for party’s defeat in state assembly elections. He also gave a clarion call to Sikh, religious and youth organisations, NRIs, farmer and labour unions, writers and intellectuals to help revive the SAD.

Later, Dhindsa told the media that a meeting with SAD (Taksali) leader Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and Akali leader Ravi Inder Singh will be held on Thursday to chalk out a plan to revive the “real” SAD before the 100th foundation day of the party next year.

“After the meeting, we will form a committee and approach SAD workers who have left party or are passive. A year-long plan will be chalked out during which we will meet like-minded outfits, leaders of various social, religious and farmer organisations for their suggestions regarding the functioning of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the SAD,” added Dhindsa.

He made it clear that leaders contesting religious body polls will not throw their hat into the political arena.

When asked about his son and other senior Akali leaders not attending the meeting, Dhindsa said: “I didn’t call the district leadership of the party for the meeting but all workers, sarpanchs and jathedars were there to support our cause. Even Parminder will stand by me and he will not attend the SAD’s rally to be held in Patiala on December 21.”

SGPC members Jaipal Singh Mandian, Malkit Singh Changal, Hardev Singh Rogla, former Punjab DGP (prisons) Mohammad Izhar Alam and former minister Abdul Ghaffar attended the meeting, but former Sangrur MLA Parkash Chand Garg and former SAD district chief Teja Singh Kamalpur were conspicuous by their absence.


Party’s district president Iqbal Singh Jhundan said the Sangrur and Barnala units of the party will stand by Sukhbir. The Sangrur district president also said that none of the 18 rural circle chiefs of the SAD attended Dhindsa’s meeting. Only three out of 13 SGPC members of Sangrur and Barnala and four out of 29 delegates attended the event. “We will hold a “samman samaroh” to honour the SAD president soon, he said.

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