Ex-Army Chief quits SAD, unhappy with leadership

Ex-Army Chief quits SAD, unhappy with leadership

Ex-Army Chief J J Singh

Former Army Chief General JJ Singh and senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader resigned from the party citing unhappiness with the actions of the SAD leadership.

The former Army chief, who also served as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, had unsuccessfully contested on the SAD ticket against Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh from Patiala in the Assembly elections in 2017. The former General had lost his security deposit in the electoral contest.

The developments come as another setback for the beleaguered Akali Dal that has been clobbered by a series of internal strife. Several senior SAD leaders, including former MP’s and MLA’s, have quit the party. The former Army chief, who cited personal reasons for his resignation, has remained disgruntled with the party leadership for some time now.

The former general said, “I am unhappy with actions of the leadership of SAD in the last few years...Today, I feel disillusioned particularly with what I have seen and experienced in Punjab since 2016. My mission to serve the people will not be affected by this decision.”

Rebel Akali leaders, who have raised the banner of revote against the party leadership in Punjab, have announced formation of a new political outfit that they claim will adhere to the principles of the ‘original SAD’. The rising spate of dissent within the party is set to hit the prospects of the SAD, an ally of the BJP, in the upcoming general elections next year.

The issue of sacrilege of the holy Guru Granth Sahib in Punjab and SAD’s handling of this sensitive issue has arguably earned the leadership the ire of the people. A few days ago, SAD leaders led by octogenarian former CM Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal performed sewa (service) at the revered Golden Temple in Amritsar seeking forgiveness. The senior Badal, however, did not specify reasons for forgiveness.