CHANDIGARH: Despite witnessing complete decimation of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) under their leadership, Badals are not ready to hand over the control over the party to anyone else, thereby paving the way for its further downfall.
The historic debacle of the party in the recently held Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll, that left it on fifth place in the politics of Punjab, is not enough to teach a lesson to the Badal family and other senior leaders of the party. The rumors were in the air on Monday that the party president Sukhbir Singh Badal has decided to resign but hand over the headship to Balwinder Singh Bhundar.
However, the second class leaders led by Bhundar made it clear that Sukhbir has not taken any such decision and will continue to lead the party. Instead, he appealed to the party rank and file not to be swayed by rumours and display unity to strengthen the party at this juncture, even as it asserted the party would continue to uphold its principles and panthic values at all costs.
Bhundar said that no one had demanded the resignation of Badal who had been elected to his chair through a democratic process.“Victories and defeats happen. They are not because of any one person. Moreover generals are not changed overnight”, he asserted while appealing to all senior colleagues to come together to strengthen the party. When pointedly asked about issues raised by senior leader Jagmeet Singh Brar, the SAD leader said “I have not watched his statement completely but I can assert the party is always open to discuss all issues in the appropriate party forum”.
Bhundur made it clear that all issues, including the Iqbal Singh Jhundan sub-committee report would be discussed soon by the party. “Discussion on the report was earlier put off till the Sangrur by-poll”, he added.
The SAD general secretary also reached out to the party cadre while thanking them for their untiring efforts in the Sangrur by-poll. He said all parties faced ups and downs. “You have seen how the BJP rose from the ashes after going down to three MPs nationwide to sweep the country. The change in voter mood vis-à-vis the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is also in front of you. There is no reason to be demoralized. The SAD is a hundred year old party with a glorious heritage. While the party will introspect on the recent Sangrur by-poll result, there is need to speak in one voice in keeping with past traditions of the party”, he added.