MP Brahmpura too quits Akali Dal posts
Amritsar, October 23
The Shiromani Akali Dal on Tuesday received yet another jolt with the Khadoor Sahib MP, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, quitting the posts of senior vice-president and core committee member, citing “age and deteriorating health”.
Earlier, on September 29, senior Akali leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa too had resigned as secretary-general and member of the core committee.
Brahmpura announced his resignation in the presence of former Akali MP Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala. Confessing he had been unhappy with the pardon to Sirsa dera chief (rescinded later) in a blasphemy case and the Bargari sacrilege incidents, Brahmpura hinted that the issues could have been handled better had senior party members been taken into confidence.
Significantly, Brahmpura, Dr Ajnala and former Cabinet Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan, all Majha leaders, had skipped SAD’s “Jabbar Virodhi” rally in Patiala on October 7. “I have not spoken with Badal Sahib since the rally. We have already expressed our dissent. The Dera Sacha Sauda pardon was damaging to the party and so was the ‘leniency’ shown in the Bargari and Behbal Kalan incidents. Along with Dr Ajnala and Sekhwan, I have already paid obeisance at the Golden Temple for atonement,” he said. Not naming anyone, Brahmpura said the shortcomings in the party’s organisational set-up and the decision-making process had resulted in SAD’s ignominious defeat in the state elections. “The party needs to introspect.”
Asked about damage control measures, the wily veteran quipped: “Sukhbir te Majithia bahut siyane ne… party vich ohna da rutba hai… baaki tusi sab jaande ho… kyon sade kolo kahaonde ho… (SAD president Sukhbir Badal and Bikram Majithia are wise leaders, they hold a sway over the party… All is in the public domain… Why provoke us to say more?).”
Brahmpura, 82, associated with the SAD since 1961, stressed he would remain an Akali till the very end and that he would not re-contest the 2019 parliamentary elections, but support the party candidate.
Talking to mediapersons in Ludhiana, Sukhbir said the party looked to Brahmpura for guidance. “He has resigned from party posts, not the party.”