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Akali Dal faction seeks leadership change, wants Sukhbir Singh Badal out
Photo courtesy: Facebook/ Sukhbir Singh Badal

Akali Dal faction seeks leadership change, wants Sukhbir Singh Badal out

| @@indiablooms | 26 Jun 2024, 02:25 am

Chandigarh/IBNS: A  section within the Shiromani Akali Dal, which scored one of its lowest performances in the recently concluded general elections, called for introspection and a reboot, preferably with a new leader. 

The section, including Sikandar S Maluka, Surjit S Rakhra, Bibi Jagir Kaur, Prem S Chandumajra, and others, skipped a crucial party meeting in Chandigarh to hold a huddle of their own in Jalandhar.

"Today it was discussed seriously why Akali Dal has become so weak... A change in the party is necessary to bring it back to the old path," said senior leader Prem Singh Chandumajra, signalling the need for the leadership, to take responsibility.

"I appeal to party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal to not ignore the sentiments of the workers but to understand them. The party will take a decision in view of the Lok Sabha Election results," he added.

The leadership of the Akali Dal has been in the hands of the Badal family for decades.

"On July 1, all of us Akali leaders will bow down in Sri Akal Takht Sahib. From there that day, we will start the Shiromani Akali Dal Bachao Lehar. We will include senior leaders of the Akali Dal in this journey," he added. The group is calling the rejuvenation campaign the "Akali Dal Bachao Abhiyan".

The Akali Dal, out of power for over one term, is finding the path back to the spotlight tough. In 2020, it left the alliance with the BJP over the farm law issue to retain its core constituency -- the farmers of the state.

But the farmers were not placated and in 2022, the SAD posted one of its worst performances in the assembly election. The party won only three of Punjab's 117 seats and the Congress 18. AAP swept the election, winning 92 seats.

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha election in Punjab, the Akali Dal could hold onto just one seat -- Bathinda of the Harsimrat Kaur Badal -- down from two in 2019. The Congress won seven of the state's 13 seats and Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party three.

With its back to the wall, the party is now contemplating some serious damage control ahead of a crucial by-election next month.

On July 10, by-polls are due in the Jalandhar West assembly seat. By-polls for four more seats -- Gidderbaha, Chabbewal, Barnala and Dera Baba Nanak – will also be held over the coming days.

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