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TRIBUNE EDIT-SAD woes Discontented leaders appeased, for now

October 02, 2018 05:57 AM

COURTESY THE TRIBUNE OCT 2

SAD woes
Discontented leaders appeased, for now
A banner of revolt against the over-domination of the Shiromani Akali Dal by the Badal family was recently raised by Rajya Sabha MP and senior Akali Dal leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, who quit all party posts. Three other stalwarts, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura (MP), Rattan Singh Ajnala (ex-MP) and Sewa Singh Sekhwan (former minister) stated the obvious when they said: ‘All is not well in the party.’ Evidently, an intervention by the party patriarch Parkash Singh Badal worked, and they toned down their revolt, which was largely targeted at the rising profile of Bikram Singh Majithia.

The overarching control of the political party, as well as Sikh institutions by the Badal family, has resulted in a degree of dissent within the party. The negative reaction among the people of Punjab about the manner in which Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was pardoned, lapses in the handling of the incidents of sacrilege and other issues all put the rank and file of SAD on the back foot. The decision to not participate in the debate in the House on Ranjit Singh Commission’s findings was questioned by party veterans Prem Singh Chandumajra and Tota Singh, who voiced widespread angst.

While upset with Sukhbir Singh Badal, the old guard, however, still is loyal to former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and it has fallen on him to set the house in order. This time, however, it seems that a quick fix may not work for long. The rift between various factions is sharp, as is the undercurrent against family control. Now that old or taksali leaders have made their stand public, more fissures are likely to be seen in the party and among its leaders. At such a time it will take sagacity and shrewdness, the qualities which Parkash Singh Badal is famous for, to get out of the present era of discontent

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