An­other Akali vet­eran from Ma­jha raises ban­ner of re­volt

Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Punjab - Sur­jit Singh sur­jit.singh@htlive.com n

AM­RIT­SAR: Shi­ro­mani Akali Dal (SAD) se­nior vice-pres­i­dent Bhai Manjit Singh on Fri­day raised a ban­ner of re­volt against the party, say­ing its lead­er­ship was be­hind the Akal Takht par­don to Dera Sacha Sauda chief in blas­phemy case.

In a press con­fer­ence in Am­rit­sar, the Akali vet­eran from the Ma­jha belt who is also Shi­ro­mani Gur­d­wara Par­band­hak Com­mit­tee (SGPC) mem­ber from Am­rit­sar, said the move will prove sui­ci­dal for the party.

Con­demn­ing the sacrilege at Bar­gari and killing of two Sikh protesters in po­lice fir­ing at Be­hbal Kalan in Farid­kot dis­trict in 2015, he said, “Had the then govern­ment (of SAD-BJP) taken ac­tion to un­earth the con­spir­acy be­hind sacrilege, Pun­jab would have had dif­fer­ent cir­cum­stances and the party would not have to give clar­i­fi­ca­tions on this is­sue.”

He held the press con­fer­ence de­spite ef­forts by the lo­cal lead­ers to dis­suade him from go­ing pub­lic with his griev­ances.

With­out nam­ing any­one, he said, “The man in­volved in this episode, di­rectly or in­di­rectly, should give up his vested po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests and apol­o­gise to the Akal Takht on eth­i­cal grounds so that the Sikhs’ hearts could be calmed.”

He is the sec­ond Akali leader af­ter Av­tar Singh Makkar, for­mer pres­i­dent of SGPC, who has said SAD got Akal Takht par­don to Dera Sirsa chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a blas­phemy case in Septem­ber 2015.

“Par­don­ing the dera chief is a sui­ci­dal step by SAD which has aban­doned the pan­thic agenda. The move has ma­ligned the im­age of in­sti­tu­tions like Akal Takht, SGPC and SAD,” he said.

The SAD leader from Tarn Taran dis­trict said the degra­da­tion of the Sikh in­sti­tu­tions caused a cri­sis in the party and this was rea­son be­hind its de­ba­cle in the last assem­bly elec­tions.

“I won’t quit the party and will fight for it by stay­ing in it. I will at­tend the Oc­to­ber 14 event at Bar­gari to re­mem­ber the Sikh protesters killed at Be­hbal Kalan,” he said.

Khadoor Sahib MP Ran­jit Singh Brahm­pura, for­mer MP Rat­tan Singh Aj­nala and for­mer min­is­ter Sewa Singh Sekhwan had re­cently con­demned the party lead­er­ship.

BLAMES SAD FOR PAR­DON TO DERA HEAD IN BLAS­PHEMY CASE; TERMS IT A SUI­CI­DAL MOVE FOR PARTY

HT PHOTO

SAD se­nior vice­pres­i­dent Bhai Manjit Singh (left) and party leader Har­winder Singh So­hal at a press con­fer­ence in Am­rit­sar.

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