Majha Akali trio apologises for ‘mistakes’ at Golden Temple
Nearly two weeks after hinting at revolt against the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), three party veterans from Majha — Khadoor Sahib MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, former parliamentarian Ratan Singh Ajnala and ex-state minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan — on Tuesday paid obeisance at the Golden Temple and apologised for what they termed as their “past mistakes”.
Another senior Akali leader, Bhai Manjit Singh, who also raised a banner of revolt against the party a few days back and then shared the stage with Sikh radicals during the third anniversary of the Behbal Kalan firing victims, also accompanied the three veterans.
Brahmpura and Ajnala’s sons Ravinder Singh Brahmpura and Amarpal Singh Bonny, both former MLAs, were also present.
The three visited the Golden Temple’s in the evening paid obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum and the Akal Takht Sahib, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs.
Later, Sekhwan said, “Most of the devotees come to the Golden Temple for apologising their mistakes and we are also here for the same.”
Brahmpura, however, dodged the queries of mediapersons when asked if they had come to seek apology of their party’s ‘mistakes’. “We are here only to offer ardaas,” he said.
He refused to comment on the demand for change of guard in the party.
Ajnala said, “We are here for seeking blessings to strengthen the SAD,” hinting once again that the party is in a weak position.
The three Akali stalwarts had expressed their dismay at the “sad state of affairs” in the party, a day after senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa had quit all party posts.
The trio’s statement, which came barely hours after Dhindsa’s resignation, triggered turmoil in the beleaguered party, forcing Akali Dal patriarch Parkash Singh Badal into fire-fighting mode to try and contain the damage.
The Akalis are already passing through their worst political phase in recent memory following the former chief minister’s indictment by the Ranjit Singh Commission, which looked into sacrilege cases and subsequent firing by cops on Sikh protesters in 2015, for the police action at Kotkapura.
The difficulties of SAD were increased when Bhai Manjit Singh, another veteran leader of SAD from Majha region, and son of Giani Kartar Singh Bhindranwale, the predecessor of slain militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, revolted against the party’s leadership. He had said SAD leadership was behind the Akal Takht pardon to Dera Sacha Sauda chief in blasphemy case.
On October 10, Dhindsa had also visited the Golden Temple to ‘apologies for his mistakes’ after remaining incommunicado for over a week since he resigned from all posts of the party.