Knives out for Badals as Sangrur rout sees SGPC resignation pitch amid Panthic churn

In Sangurur bypoll, there is Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Chief Simranjit Singh Man He emerged victorious on the homeland of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Man by defeating the ruling AAP candidate. Social Democratic Party B (SDP) candidate Kamaldeep Kaur, sister of Balwant Singh Ragwana, convicted of assassinating former President Bent Singh, lost her deposit and took fifth place.

Referring to Sangrore’s result, Karnel Singh Panjuli, General Secretary of SADC-controlled SAD(b) said it reflected “people’s mistrust of the current Akali leadership” and demanded that the party leadership submit its resignation to Akal Takht.

The 77-year-old pro-Khalestan leader and former IPS officer Simranjit Singh Mann, rising from a nearly two-decade political wilderness, scored a stunning victory, which is likely to bolster Punjab’s public policies and potentially transform it anew. .

For the SAD party led by Sukhbir Badal (B), the defeat of Sangrur is a more serious blow as it was not caused by parties like AAP or Congress on issues like development or unemployment but by another Akali Dal faction, led by Simranjit, who campaigned on the Panthic board. It is another matter that SAD (B) has also played a Panthic card in Sangrur by dispatching Kamaldeep and has made the release of Sikh prisoners the main issue in its campaign.

Sukhbir replaced his father, Parkash Singh Badal, as Chairman of SAD (M) on 31 January 2008. He has a mixed track record to date. Although the party under his leadership set a record by forming the government for a second consecutive term in 2012 alongside the then ally BJP, it could win only four parliamentary seats out of the state’s 13 in both the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and 2014. In the 2019 general election, only Sukhbir and his wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal were able to win their seats.

The Social Democratic Party (B) also suffered its second consecutive defeat in the Assembly elections more than three months ago, when its number of seats was reduced to three. As part of the introspection exercise, the party leadership then set up a 12-member subcommittee to receive grass-roots feedback on measures needed to strengthen the party. In its report, part accessed by The Indian Express, the commission made various suggestions on issues such as the impact of sacrilege and police shootings in 2015 on Sikh psyche, family politics, SGPC institutions and religious conversions.

The commission noted in its report that the incident of sacrilege and police firing of Bhabal Kalan in 2015 occurred during the period of the SAD-led government (b), and that the appointment of Somid Saini in the then Punjab, and Dera Sacha Sauda. Political support in the 2017 House of Representatives elections also “harms” Sikh sentiment. “These incidents continue to have a significant impact on the psyche of Sikhs and are distressing,” the report says.

The commission asked the leadership of the Social Democratic Party (B) to “request an apology” for all these developments. The subcommittee felt that such developments during the SAD government provoked great anger among the Sikhs. The committee also feels that then Prime Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his entire cabinet, then SAD Chairman (b) Sukhbir Singh Badal and the entire party leadership, as humble Sikhs, should demand an apology from the Sikh masses and the Almighty,” the report said.

However, the party has not taken any action on the committee’s recommendations so far.

Prior to the victory of the SAD leader (A) at Sangrur, the leadership of SAD (B) had hoped that there would be no other Akali political group leader who could challenge them on Panthic land. But Simranjit seems to be turning the tables now.

Amid growing concern within the SPD (B), it will not be easy for Sukhbir to continue as party leader without making major changes at the party’s top levels.

SGPC elections are also scheduled and will be in the hands of the Center and the state government when such elections can be held, which, if held early, might enhance the prospects of SAD(A) or other Akali factions in wresting a body out of SAD(B) control, which they have been looking forward to For a long time.

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