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Big Blow to Shiromai Akali Dal as Manjit Singh GK ‘Hands Over Charge’, Says Party Needs Introspection

Senior Shiromai Akali Dal leader Manjit Singh GK said the party is going through a rough patch and will have to rectify many of its decisions.

Ramlal Kondal | News18.com

Updated:October 9, 2018, 12:38 PM IST
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Chandigarh: In a major setback for the Shiromai Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab, senior party leader Manjit Singh GK on Tuesday morning ‘handed over the charge’ of president of the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC).

Manjit Singh GK is the latest addition to the already long list of party dissidents who have opened up against the party leadership.

Talking to News 18, GK indicated that the party leadership needed an introspection. He said, “Party is going through a rough patch and the party would have to rectify many of its decisions. I can’t disclose them to the media but will raise them with the party.”

He, however, claimed that he had not ‘technically’ resigned, but had simply ‘handed over the charge’. “I am occupied with the global celebrations of 550th birth anniversary Guru Nanak Dev JI and am touring abroad. Subsequently, I have handed over my charge to Senior Vice-president Harbir Singh Kalka since the past 5-6 days,” said GK.

His resolve comes at a time when the SAD is facing its worst-ever political crisis in the aftermath of the Justice (retd.) Ranjit Singh Commission report, which has indicted former chief minister Prakash Singh Badal and his son and party president Sukhbir Singh Badal for the sacrilege and firing incidents in Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura.

Refraining from commenting on the propriety of the decision to exonerate Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, GK said the manner of granting pardon was not appropriate. “The community wasn’t taken into confidence. It was a sensitive issue. If the whole community had come together then it would been otherwise”. He continues to be in the party. “Nobody has approached me as of now. I will put up my concerns while remaining in party discipline,” GK said.

Rumblings of dissent have been gaining ground within the SAD ever since the party decided to boycott the debate on the commission’s report in the Assembly. Recently, senior party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa resigned from all positions in the party. Several other ‘Taksali’ (old guard) leaders have also opened up against the party leadership.

The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party had in the Assembly lambasted the SAD for allegedly playing into Ram Rahim’s hands. The House proceedings further dented the SAD’s image as a political representative of the Sikhs.

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