Dissidents elect new Akali Dal chief, remove Badal

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Chandigarh, (Asian independent)┬áDissident Akali leaders on Tuesday elected Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa as the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President at a meeting in Ludhiana, ‘removing’ Sukhbir Singh Badal from the top post.

Dhindsa and his son and former state finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa were expelled from the SAD in February this year for “anti-party” activities.

The Dhindsas joined hands with the party’s dissident groups, including the SAD (Taksali).

However, SAD spokesman and senior leader Daljit Singh Cheema described the move as “illegal and fraud” and accused the expelled leader of acting at the behest of the Congress.

Cheema told the media that the SAD is a 100-year-old party which is registered with the Election Commission of India.

“What they have done is 100 per cent fraud. It is illegal and amounts to forgery,” Cheema said.

In February, the SAD had expelled its Rajya Sabha MP and veteran leader Dhindsa and his legislator son from the party for lamenting that the party was being run in an “undemocratic manner” and controlled by “a family”.

A day before suspending them, former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at a rally in Sangrur town, the stronghold of Dhindsas, had said that the father-son duo stabbed the party in the back.

Also, SAD chief Sukhbir had called Sukhdev Dhindsa a “traitor”.

Dhindsa and his son, who is legislator from Lehra, had resigned from key posts in the SAD, saying the party was not run in a democratic manner.