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No major differences: Parkash Singh Badal 

Patiala, October 1

Amid reports of a rift within the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) with MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa quitting all party posts and Majha satraps questioning the party’s “ill-conceived” policies, party patriarch and former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal told The Tribune here on Monday that there were no major differences. “If any, these will be discussed and addressed,” he said.  

In town for the next two days to mobilise workers for the October 7 Patiala rally, he claimed: “There are no major differences and the few issues that have been raised will be sorted out at a meeting of party leaders after the rally”. He rubbished all talk of an imminent split in the party.

On Taksali leaders Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, former MP Rattan Singh Ajnala and Sewa Singh Sekhwan airing their grievances, he said they were loyal and dedicated party workers. “I can assure you, there is no resentment in the party.”

Accusing the Congress of trying to “instigate” the public, especially the Sikh Panth, against the Akalis through a series of falsehoods, he said he saw the hand of the Congress government behind the “dharna drama” at Bargari in Faridkot district.

Similar sentiments were echoed by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal who addressed party workers of all three Assembly constituencies in Fatehgarh Sahib on Monday. 

“There is no rebellion. We will prove this at the Patiala rally”, he claimed, denying that the decision regarding the October 7 rally was taken without taking senior party leaders into confidence.

Dubbing the organisers of “Bargari Morcha” as the B-team of the Congress, he said the ruling party, in order to divert the attention of the people from the failure of its government, had connived with radicals and come out with the “bogus” Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report, which had been “rejected” by the people, as was evident from the mammoth turnout at the SAD’s Faridkot rally in September. 

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