No end to Akali Dal’s Sangrur conundrum: Yet to name own candidate, undecided on Mann

Shiromani Akali Dal, who initially traditionally stayed away from the mass when it came to naming his electoral candidates, remained uncharacteristically silent on rafts to the Sangrur Lok Sabha constituency. That’s even as she approached Navneet Kaur Bholar, wife of Devender Pal Singh Bholar, the convict in the 1993 Delhi bombing case on the entourage of then-Youth Congress President, MS PETA, to run.

Complicating the problems for Akali Dal, Harginder Singh Dami, Chairman of the party-controlled Shiromani Gurudwara Barbhandak Committee, recently visited the residence of SAD (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann, who had already announced his candidacy from the parliamentary constituency, and he had won another Once in 1998.

On Friday, SAD Chairman Sukhbir Singh Badal set up a five-member coordinating committee to “talk to all ‘inclusive’ and pro-Punjab political parties and reach consensus for a united fight against ‘anti-Panth, anti-Punjab and Delhi-Central Powers’ in the upcoming Parliamentary shots” .

The committee members are Balwinder Singh Bhandar, Prem Singh Chandumagra, Sikander Singh Maluka, Iqbal Singh Gonda and Versa Singh Valtoha. The party said in a statement that Badal had earlier authorized the party’s core committee, the party’s highest decision-making body, to take a decision on all aspects of Sungur Bai Bull.

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Harcharan Pines, chief advisor to Badal, said the committee would talk to all parties and other political organizations that are committed to the cause of the Panjab and Punjab to reach consensus on the nomination as well as on a joint strategy for the interim march.

He said that SAD treats Sangrur bypoll as a battle of “Punjab vs. Delhi” and “an opportunity for Punjab and Punjab to thwart the onslaught of anti-Punjab forces”.

Speaking to the Indian Express, the party’s spokesperson, Daljit Singh Cheema, said: “We are open to the possibility of appointing a joint candidate from all parties. We are also ready if the candidate does not compete for our symbol.”

Akali Dal leader said, “The party approached Navneet Kaur. But there are technical problems in dealing with her as she is not an Indian citizen. The party was ready to support her candidacy on any electoral symbol.”

Seeking to revive the party, Akali Dal, as a long standing measure, threw his weight behind the issue of releasing Sikh prisoners. The SGPC had already formed a commission by taking in rivals of Akali Dal within the Panthic politics such as SAD (A) and SAD (Delhi), bringing to a halt the years-long direct confrontation.

It is learned that the party has approached some other personalities, who are not members of Akali Dal, to object to Sangurur bypoll. However, with Man already announcing the sub-picks rivalry, it won’t be easy for Akali Dahl to come to terms with the “like-minded parties” on another name.

Meanwhile, when he called Dami Man, the latter gifted him a picture of Jarnayl Singh Benderanwill.

Sources said Dhami met Man as the SGPC wants all Sikh leaders across party lines to gather to peacefully celebrate the anniversary of Operation Blue Star.

Dami described his meeting with Mann as a courtesy call.

It would be a big call for Akali Dal, if she agreed to support Mann’s candidacy because the latter’s party explicitly supports Khalistan’s demand.

The secondary school notification will be issued on May 30 and the deadline for nominations is June 6. Nominations will be examined on June 7, while the deadline for withdrawing nominations is June 9.

SAD Chief (Amritsar) Simranjit Singh Mann presents a portrait of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale to SGPC Chief Harjinder Singh Dhami.

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