The Shiromani Akali Dal will abide by the diktat of the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal body of Sikhs, on seeking support from Dera Sacha Sauda in the Lok Sabha election, party president Sukhbir Singh Badal Saturday said. Sukhbir also said that Behbal Kalan and Bargari sacrilege firing cases won;t be a poll issue in the parliamentary polls.
“As a Sikh and as the president of the Akali Dal, I will go by the dictum of the supreme body of the Sri Akal Takht Sahib,” Sukhbir said.
The Akal Takht had ex-communicated the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda in an alleged blasphemy case of 2007.
On a query that the Akali Dal had sought the Dera’s support in 2017 assembly elections even though the Akal Takht diktat was in place, he said, “Not the SAD. Candidates from all parties, in their individual capacity, visited the Dera to seek support “.
Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar had a day ago declared that his party will not seek support from the Dera Sacha Sauda followers. Citing remarks made by former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur, Jakhar had challenge Sukhbir to clarify his stand on the matter. A day after she was named SAD Lok Sabha candidate from Khadoor Sahib, Jagir Kaur had said, “Why would my party take support from any one who has ideological contradictions with Guru Granth Sahib? Party position on this can be only explained by party president Sukhbir Badal. But I can express my personal view and in my personal view, I will never take the support from Dera Sacha Sauda”.
Punjab has 13 parliamentary seats and it will go to polls in a single phase on May 19. Meanwhile, Sukhbir also claimed that cases pertaining to firing on people protesting against sacrilege incidents won’t work as a poll plank for the Congress.
“People know that Congress is trying to play with religious sentiments by raking up this issue to hide the failure of the first two years of its rule,” he said.
Names Charanjit Singh Atwal from Jalandhar
The Akali Dal president Saturday announced that former deputy speaker of Lok Sabha Charanjit Singh Atwal would be the party candidate from Jalandhar (SC) seat.
Atwal, a Dalit face, was the former deputy speaker of Lok Sabha during 2004-2009. He was a two-time MP from Phillaur constituency. He has also remained speaker of the Punjab Legislative Assembly twice.
This is the second name announced by the SAD. Earlier, it had named Jagir Kaur from Khadoor Sahib seat.
Sukhbir also hit out at the SAD (Taksali), a breakaway faction of the Akali Dal, saying that its chief Ranjit Singh Brahmpura would forfeit his security deposit if he dared to enter into the poll fray from Khadoor Sahib.
He dared all the three expelled Akali leaders Brahmpura, Rattan Singh Ajnala and Sewa Singh Sekhwan to test their “political clout” by contesting the Lok Sabha polls. “The so-called Taksali leaders are trying to befool people of Punjab by mouthing lies about Panthic issues as well as themselves,” he alleged. “All desperate and rejected leaders from various political outfits have gathered and declared themselves as Taksalis, while none of them have any Taksali background. By which stretch of imagination can you call Birdevinder Singh or General JJ Singh as Taksali”.
He exuded confidence that the SAD-BJP would be wining all the 13 seats in Punjab, while the Congress would finish at zero.