The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Saturday suspended Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and his son Parminder Singh Dhindsa with immediate effect and decided to issue a chargesheet asking them explain their conduct in two week’s time.
The decisions were taken at a nearly-eight hour long meeting of the party’s core committee chaired by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra had left the meeting to attend an event when the decision to suspend and issue chargesheet to Dhindsas was taken. Chandumajra’s concurrence, however, was obtained on phone, said a core committee member.
This comes days Parminder, the MLA from Lehragaga, quit as leader of SAD legislature party in Punjab Vidhan Sabha and joined his father in questioning the functioning of the party under the command of Sukhbir Badal.
“We will respond whenever the chargesheet is issued to us,” said Dhindsa, declining to say anything more on the issue.
Parminder said he was was expecting such a move by the party. “At least, after our raising the voice on certain issues, they are now adopting the proper procedure. This was not being done earlier. At least raising our voice has had some effect,” Dhindsa said on the procedural mechanism where he and his father were first suspended and would now be issued the chargesheet to answer the allegations against them.
After the core committee meeting, SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said that former minister Sikander Singh Maluka, who is the party observer of Sangrur district, apprised the core committee that “at a recent meeting of the Sangrur district body it was unanimously decided to recommend the expulsion of both Sukhdev Dhindsa and Parminder Dhindsa for indulging in anti-party activities.”
Cheema added, “After due discussion it was decided to issue a chargesheet to the duo following which they would be given two weeks to explain their conduct. The party will take its next course of action after receiving the reply of the two leaders.”
Parminder, who had skipped party’s 99th foundation day function on December 14 in which Sukhbir Badal was re-elected party president for third time in a row, had tendered his resignation as leader of party in Vidhan Sabha on January 3, the day SAD core committee met previosuly. Sukhbir Badal had accepted the resignation immediately and soon declared Sharanjit Singh Dhillon as new leader of party in Vidhan Sabha.
Ever since quitting as leader of SAD in Vidhan Sabha, Parminder had been accentuating his criticism of party functioning, alleging among other things that power had become the primary objective while Panthic agenda took a backseat. Referring to the incidents of sacrilege during SAD rule, he had questioned why the party led government had failed to nab the culprits.
Sukhdev Dhindsa has been demanding Sukhbir Badal to step down as party president taking moral responsibility of party’s humiliating defeat in 2017 assembly elections. He had quit all party posts in 2018 and also resigned as leader of party in Rajya Sabha last year.
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