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Rebel SAD leader Dhindsa set to float new party today

IN THE MAKING: Says Punjabis need a platform to save the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and other institutions; outfit likely to be named ‘Shiromani Panthik Dal’
Hindustan Times, Patiala | By Vishal Rambani
UPDATED ON JUL 07, 2020 01:31 AM IST

More than a year after upping the ante against the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa is set to announce a new political outfit on Tuesday.

The party is likely to be named ‘Shiromani Panthik Dal’, it is learnt.

“Had Sukhbir (Badal) owned up the responsibility for the Akali Dal’s defeat in the 2017 election assembly polls and protected the Panth by punishing the guilty of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib, I would have not taken this step. For me, Panth and Punjabiat are the foremost. Under Sukhbir’s leadership, the SAD has forgotten its original agenda and lost its base. The Punjabis need a platform to save the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and other institutions,” said Dhindsa, who was in Patiala for joining of Congress leader Tajinderpal Singh Sandhu his camp.

He said SAD patriarch and former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in the know of every misdeed in the party and the SGPC, but he kept his eyes closed to protect Sukhbir.

Dhindsa, who had quit all party posts in September 2018 in the wake of a revolt in the SAD, said the same mafia which was ruling the roost during the SAD-BJP regime by exploiting mining resources besides dominating the liquor trade etc, is flourishing under the Congress now. There is the need to replace both the Congress and the SAD to usher in a new era of development in Punjab, he added.

Last week, Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali) chief Brahmpura had offered Dhindsa to take over the party, but the latter declined to do so.

“My fight is to liberate the SGPC from the clutches of wrong people. Everyone who saw the Badal family as a threat to the Panth should support us. The party workers will decide our future tie-ups,” said Dhindsa.

He said that Badals have exploited the SGPC for their personal benefits. On the langar scam, he said there should be stringent punishment for misuse of the offerings of devotees by making forged bills.

“The SGPC should dismiss all those guilty,” he said.

On Khalistan, the Rajya Sabha MP said he did not support any such demand. “We will fight for rights of Punjabis, but will not go against the country,” he added.

UNFOLDING OF REBELLION

Sept 29, 2018: Dhindsa quits all party posts, including that of general secretary and member of the core committee, in the wake of a revolt against SAD leadership by veteran Akali leaders.

Oct 19, 2019: The Rajya Sabha MP resigns as the leader of SAD in the Upper House of Parliament.

Jan 3, 2020: His son and former Punjab minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa resigns as SAD legislative party leader

Jan 12, 2020: SAD suspends Dhindsa, his son Parminder for anti-party activities

Feb 3, 2020: SAD expels the father-son duo for rebellion against party

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