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SAD claims its acting district chiefs have full faith in Badal’s leadership

The development comes at a time when there are reports of a “rebellion” brewing in the party amid rumblings for a change in the party leadership.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Sukhbir Singh Badal, Punjab news, Chandigarh city news, Chandigarh, India news, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsDuring the meeting chaired by Sukhbir Badal, Thursday.

The Shiromani Akali Dal Thursday claimed that its acting district presidents have expressed complete faith in the leadership of Sukhbir Singh Badal and claimed that a conspiracy is afoot to destabilise regional parties. The party also asked its leaders to desist from questioning Badal’s authority or face disciplinary action.

The development comes at a time when there are reports of a “rebellion” brewing in the party amid rumblings for a change in the party leadership.

“Sukhbir Singh Badal was, is, and will remain our president,” the acting district presidents said in a meeting held under Badal’s leadership, the party claimed.

It said 39 acting rural and urban presidents expressed faith in the leadership of Badal. Four acting district presidents could not attend the meeting as three are abroad, and one is not well.

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Senior leaders Iqbal Singh Jhundan, Virsa Singh Valtoha and Mantar Singh Brar said all acting presidents had made it clear that they had “full faith in the farsighted and visionary leadership of Badal and that he will remain the president of the party”.

Valtoha, in an apparent reference to party MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali, alleged he had meetings with BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa in Delhi. But Ayali refuted the charge and said he had gone to the national capital to bring back his wife who returned from Canada. Ayali said he would leave politics if Valtoha’s charge against him is proved.

Last month, the SAD leadership was left red-faced after Ayali went against his own party by boycotting the presidential poll, saying issues related to Punjab remained unresolved and he was not consulted by his party leadership before deciding to back NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu. Ayali had sought the implementation of the recommendations of the Jhundan panel formed after the party’s defeat in the 2022 assembly polls and had even spoken about a change in party leadership.

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Valtoha, who was a member of the Jhundan committee, claimed that there were talks of reforms within the party in the report “but nowhere it was mentioned to change the party leadership as is being projected”.

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Jhundan told the media the party panel headed by him had made 42 suggestions, which would be implemented in due course. “We admit that there have been mistakes in the past but we are committed to correcting them. You will witness a definite change in the SAD in the coming days,” he said.

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Valtoha and Jhundan asked party leaders questioning Badal’s leadership to discuss their reservations at an appropriate party forum and not to breach discipline. Anyone breaching party discipline is not a well-wisher of the party and such indiscipline will no longer be tolerated, the leaders asserted, as per the SAD statement.

They asserted that a conspiracy is afoot to destabilise regional parties and their leaders are being defamed. The intention is to break regional parties to spread the hegemony of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has been witnessed in Maharashtra and even Bihar recently, they said in the statement.

The leaders expressed confidence that the BJP would not succeed in weakening the SAD in Punjab while adding that the party would never compromise on its principles.

First published on: 12-08-2022 at 03:06:47 am
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