SAD MP ‘rebels’ to free party of ‘Badal family control’

SAD MP ‘rebels’ to free party of ‘Badal family control’

A sitting Rajya Sabha MP of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), an ally of the BJP-led NDA, has turned ‘rebel’ in an apparent attempt to oust the Badal family of its control of the party affairs.

Veteran SAD leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, who has long been by the side of the Badal’s, is now openly questioning the control of the family over the 99-year grand old party.

Voicing his resentment against the party leadership, the senior SAD leader called a meeting of party leaders and workers at his residence to ponder over the action plan to "free the party of the Badal family control".

The Akali Dal has cautioned its leaders against participating in any such meeting called by the disgruntled leader. Dhindsa's rebellious tendencies could cost the party dear. The leader vows to restore what he believes was the true character of the grand old party, when it was established in 1920.

In the apparent face-off with the Badal’s, the veteran Akali leader says he will not quit the party and instead work to strengthen it. Interestingly, Dhindsa’s son Parminder Singh, who was a cabinet minister in two consecutive terms of the Badal’s between 2007 and 2017, does not seem to agree with his father on the anti-Badal stand.

The junior Dhindsa maintains he is a loyal party worker and the Akali Dal has given him more than he expected.

The senior Dhindsa has preferred to align with the SAD (Taksali), a rebel outfit carved out of the SAD just before the Lok Sabha elections by senior Akali leaders who were unhappy with the Badals.

These leaders have overtly expressed displeasure in the party leadership, especially the junior Badal, Sukhbir Singh. Talks of the senior Badal taking over the reigns of the SAD too did not fructify. 

Dhindsa, flanked by other rebel SAD leaders, held a parallel meeting last week on the party’s foundation day, when the Akali Dal yet again chose Sukhbir Badal as the party president for a third term.

Sukhbir had been deputy CM, when his father Parkash Singh Badal was the chief minister of Punjab. Sukhbir’s wife Harsimran Kaur is a union minister in Modi’s cabinet, while his brother-in-law Bikramjit Majithia was a cabinet minister during the Akali rule.  

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