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Happy New Year 2020 to all Readers.          January 2020 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:Jan' 2020


Badal detractors uniting to ‘liberate’
Sikh institutions

K S Chawla

Detractors pledge to join hands to ‘overthrow’ Badals The detractors of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal are uniting to free the Shiromini Akali Dal, the Shiromini Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Akal Takhat from the clutches of the Badal family.
An appeal to the Sikh organizations, writers, professors and other Sikhs was made by Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, a veteran Akali leader, who was the first to revolt against the Badals after the humiliating defeat of the Akali Dal in the 2017 Vidhan Sabha polls.
The dissidents of the Akali Dal who included Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Taksali Akalis namely Ranjit Singh Brahampura, Dr. Rattan Singh Ajnala, Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Ravi Inder Singh, former speaker of the Vidhan Sabha and president of the Akali Dal 1920, Paramjit Singh Sarna, president Akali Dal (Delhi) and others collected at Amritsar on December 14 to observe the 99th year of the foundation of the Shiromini Akali Dal.

Sukhbir Singh Badal Parkash Singh Badal Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa The Shiromini Akali Dal, led by Sukhbir Singh Badal, also organized its meeting at Amritsar to observe the 99th foundation year of the Akali Dal at Amritsar. Sukhbir Badal was re-elected president of the Akali Dal for the third time unanimously.
Making a strong plea for unity against the one family rule, Dhindsa alleged that the family had destroyed the Sikh institutions and they must be free from clutches of the Badal family.

Dhindsa revealed that he, alongwith Ranjit Singh Brahampura, had suggested to Parkash Singh Badal to remove Sukhbir Singh from the presidentship of the Akali Dal and himself take over the reins of the party. But he declined with the excuse that his health ‘does not allow it’ and persisted in continuing Sukhbir as president of the Akali Dal. Dhindsa announced that he would neither contest the election nor leave the party, but would continue to lend support to the Akali Dal Taksali in removing the Badal family from the Akali Dal and the SGPC. He said that the Akali Dal was the oldest party which had made numerous sacrifices but the Badal family had ruined.

Ranjit Singh Brahampura who also resigned from all posts of the ‘Akali Dal and formed the Akali Dal (Taksali), while addressing the meeting, lashed at Badals and Sukhbir for his dictatorial attitude. He appealed to the Sikhs to remove the Badals from the Sikh scene and bring democracy in the Akali Dal.

Ravi Inder Singh said that squads of the Sikhs should be formed to oust the Badals from the Akali Dal.

Others who attended the meeting included Manjit Singh GK, former President of the Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, Bir Devinder Singh former Deputy speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Peer Mohammad, president of the Sikh Students Federation. They decided to form a committee to campaign against the Badals.

Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, who had resigned from the Shiromini Akali Dal about a year ago was not participating many political activity. He was the first to revolt against the dictatorial attitude of Sukhbir Singh Badal. With his joining hands with the Akali Dal (Taksali), the panthic politics has got heated in Punjab and the Badals would face lot of opposition and criticism from the Sikhs who are already against them. Meanwhile the meeting of the Akali Dal led by Sukhbir Singh, Tota Singh senior Akali leader proposed his name for the post of presidentship which was seconded by Prem Singh Chandumajra and Jagmeet Singh Brar. His election was declared elected unanimously.. for third time. Nearly 600 delegates participated in the election.

Harsimrat Badal Parkash Singh Badal, patron of the Akali Dal could not attend the meeting due to bad health. However, Mrs Harsimrat Badal, wife of Sukhbir Badal was present in the meeting.
Addressing the meeting, Sukhbir alleged that conspiracies were being hatched to weaken the Akali Dal and asked the workers to be vigilant about such people.
Sukhbir, in his speech, never gave any indication of having any reconciliation with the dissidents and rather described them as disgruntled and old leaders.
Sukhbir Badal who had supported the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A, extended support to the Citizenship Amendment Act and sought inclusion of Muslims and religious minorities under the Act.

He also sought more powers to the states and said that federalism and secularism could strengthen the country.

Parminder Singh Dhindsa The meeting demanded inclusion of Chandigarh and other Punjabi speaking areas into Punjab.
Interestingly, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, son of Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa who was finance minister in the SAD-BJP government did not attend the meeting of the Akali Dal nor did he go to the Taksalia meeting.

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh strongly condemned Sukhbir Singh Badal for his remarks that Afghan Sikhs should also be included under the Citizenship Amendment Act and alleged that he was playing dirty politics.

Amarinder Singh Meanwhile, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh strongly condemned Sukhbir Singh Badal for his remarks that Afghan Sikhs should also be included under the Citizenship Amendment Act and alleged that he was playing dirty politics.
Amarinder said: ‘Do you have no shame. You are ready to destroy the country’s secular character to promote your political vested interests. While people were getting killed in their fight to save India’s secular character and its constitution, Sukhbir was busy indulging in politics over such grave concern. What was at stake was the very survival of the country as a democratic and secular unity’.