scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Tuesday, January 25, 2022

As Akali Dal turns 100, Badal Sr, 94, says ready for Punjab poll duty next year

"The upcoming polls in Punjab are a decision that you have to take for the future of your children. It is only your own government that can work for your welfare," Parkash Singh Badal said, adding that it was only SAD which is Punjab's “own party”.

Written by Divya Goyal | Moga |
Updated: December 14, 2021 11:57:42 pm
Parkash Singh Badal addresses the rally to commemorate the completion of 100 years of Shiromani Akali Dal's foundation at Kili Chahal in Moga on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Gurmeet Singh)

To those considering him a spent force, Parkash Singh Badal had a message on Tuesday. The 94-year-old Shiromani Akali Dal patron announced that he was once again ready “to perform any duty that the party would assign to him for Punjab polls next year” and that “history would repeat itself” with SAD-BSP alliance bagging majority seats like it did in 1996 Lok Sabha polls.

Badal, who made a public address after having remained cut off from the active politics for a long time, also showed the way for the Akali Dal in the crucial polls next year as he went back to the party’s basics of fighting for the rights of Sikhs and the ‘panth’.

“Khalsa Panth has always fought against oppression — be it Mughal rule, British rule or the current Congress government in Punjab. These governments have always tried to control gurdhams (gurdwaras). Khalsa Panth has always fought to get its gurdhams freed from these rulers and have always succeeded. It doesn’t matter if we always form government in the state or not but when it comes to the sewa of guru ghars, it is always the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) that has been trusted by people,” said Badal.

He was addressing the ‘Sau Saala’ rally to mark 100 years of party’s foundation at Killi Chahlan village of Moga district. The party came into existence on December 14, 1920. Apart from the Akali leaders, those from its alliance partner Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) were also present.

Parkash Singh Badal, who made a public address after having remained cut off from the active politics for a long time, also showed the way for the Akali Dal in the crucial polls next year as he went back to the party’s basics of fighting for the rights of Sikhs and the ‘panth’.

Terming the rally a great ‘panthic ikkath’ (congregation), he said that the party’s fight against oppression and atrocities which started 100 years ago would continue.

“The upcoming polls in Punjab are a decision that you have to take for the future of your children. It is only your own government that can work for your welfare,” he said, adding that it was only SAD which is Punjab’s “own party”.

“Whenever we formed government in the state, we worked for farmers and the poor. We waived bills of farmers, we made schools for the poor, we started the atta-dal scheme for people who did not have food to eat…I went from village to village to work for the people of Punjab,” he added.

Terming the rally a great ‘panthic ikkath’ (congregation), he said that the party’s fight against oppression and atrocities which started 100 years ago would continue.

He said that for people of Punjab, these polls would be a direct fight for rights of the state against “three governments — BJP-led central government, AAP-led Delhi government and Congress-led government in Punjab which is also “controlled from Delhi”.

He said he was sure that people of Punjab will “fight the three governments vigorously”, and added “just like 1996, when SAD-BSP won all 11 Lok Sabha seats that it contested, history will repeat itself in 2022 Assembly polls. How can we allow parties like Congress to rule us which attacked Harmandir Sahib?”

In an indication that he may enter the poll fray this time too, Badal said, “Whatever duty the party will give me for upcoming polls, I will fulfill them.

In an indication that he may enter the poll fray this time too, Badal said, “Whatever duty the party will give me for upcoming polls, I will fulfill them. I always abide by the orders of the party president and will continue to do so and and I will keep doing sewa.”

A five-time CM and 10-time MLA, Badal would be the oldest to enter electoral fray if he contests Assembly polls next year. He currently represents Lambi in Vidhan Sabha.

Referring to his son and party president Sukhbir Singh Badal and daughter-in-law Harsimrat Kaur Badal, he said only they stood with farmers in their agitation against three farm laws. He said that while other parties shed crocodile tears for farmers, it was only Harsimrat who resigned as union minister to stand for their cause. “We also ended our alliance with BJP because it is farmers who are our priority. There were only two MPs in Parliament who had voted against farm laws– Sukhbir and Harsimrat. No one else stood with farmers when it mattered the most. There is a lot of difference between ‘nakli’ and ‘asli’ and I congratulate Harsimrat for standing with farmers when it mattered the most,” Badal said.

SAD president Sukhbir Badal walks at front as patron Parkash Singh Badal is brought on the wheelchair at the rally  to commemorate the completion of 100 years of party’s foundation.

He said he has always advised Sukhbir not to make any promises with people which can never be fulfilled.

Congratulating party workers and ‘Guru Nanak naam lewa sangat and panth’ for the completion of 100 years of the party, he said that Akali Dal’s rallies organized in Moga have always been of ‘great significance’.

Notably, it was in Moga conference of 1996, when the party had completed 75 years, that SAD had made a shift from ‘panthic party’ to ‘moderate’ and refurbished itself as the representative of entire Punjab and all communities living in Punjab not just Sikhs, with the slogan ‘Punjab, Punjabi, Punjabiyat’.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Chandigarh News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement