Senior leadership of the Shiromani Akali Dal on Thursday questioned the move of SAD legislators led by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal to boycott the debate on Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission in Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday. The issue was raised in the SAD core committee meeting in Chandigarh on Thursday. A SAD core committee member present in the meeting said that senior leadership of the party, including Tota Singh and Prem Singh Chandumajra, were among those who questioned the move and said that SAD legislators should have remained in the House during the debate to counter the Congress.
After SAD boycotted the debate, Congress legislators, especially Cabinet ministers and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, made scathing attacks on SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal, SAD president Sukhbir Badal and SAD legislator Bikram Singh Majithia in the debate which was telecast live and which continued till late on Tuesday.
“A number of core committee members raised the issue, but were told in the meeting that debate was boycotted because 14 minutes allocated to party were too little,” said a SAD leader. Meanwhile, the core committee decided that SAD would hold a ‘pol khol’ rally in Abohar, the home town of the Congress president Sunil Jakhar, and “it would show to them where the people of Punjab really stand”.
SAD spokesperson Harcharan Bains said that the core committee reiterated its outright rejection of Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) report. The party also reiterated its demand for “an inquiry into the entire issue sacrilege and related events by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court”.
The core committee meeting described the criticism of former CM Parkash Singh Badal as “cheap and vulgar” and warned the government to check those challenging the Akalis. “It is their responsibility to stop hoodlums from daring the Akali warriors. If they don’t perform their duty, then we will stop these goons and show to them where they stand. They are challenging the Akali heritage and they will know what they are up against,” said the SAD.