SAD President Sukhbir Badal offers to quit 

SAD President Sukhbir Badal offers to quit 

Sukhbir Singh Badal. Twitter

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday offered to resign from his post as the party president in what many political experts see as a move attempted to ebb the burgeoning dissent within the party.

The SAD led by the Badals— father-son duo of Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir— had ruled Punjab for a decade, until they were ousted by the Congress last year.

Several senior party leaders have resigned one after the other in the last two months.

The banner of revolt of sorts threatens the prospects of the Akali Dal, a BJP ally, in the upcoming 2019 general elections.

Sukhbir on Sunday said, “I’m leading the party on its direction. I’m duty bound to do whatever the party asks me to do. If it demands my resignation, I am ready for it.”

To placate dissent within the party, Sukhbir has been visiting leaders to address their grievance, but has met limited success.

Sukhbir said that all the veteran Akali leaders were like his father and he respects them.

Rebel leader from Majha, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, who recently quit the party, expressed doubt on Sukhbir's intention to quit as the party's chief.

While there has been a dissent brewing within the party soon after the 2017 election debacle, where the SAD was reduced to the third slot, the Akali leaders have started distancing themselves from the party in wake of the recent developments in the Bargari firing incident.

A commissions report has indicted that former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for his role in the police killing of innocent Sikhs, two years ago when they were peacefully protesting the desecration of the sacred Guru Granth Sahib.

The SAD boycotted the debate, which many leaders wanted to face stridently, in the Assembly.

Senior party leaders also feel they have no voice in the party despite standing with by the SAD for decades.

On Sunday, Sukhbir visited Bhai Manjit Singh, a dissident SAD leader, at his residence along with MLA Bikram Singh Majithia in a bid to assuage his hurt sentiments.