By Satinder Bains
CHANDIGARH SEPTEMBER 2,2018: Sukhbir Singh Badal President of Shiromani Akali Dal, the son of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who ruled the state by proxy during last term of his father in office, is facing a credibility crisis and also serious challenge to his authority in the party after traditional Akali leaders questioned the ‘political blunders’ of scion of Badal family.
Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and firing on the innocent Sikhs in Behbal Kalan by Punjab police allegedly on the orders of Parkash Singh Badal has ripped apart the ‘political lust’ of Badal family and held them responsible for the unfortunate incidents of sacrilege and then shielding the perpetrators of unholy act, in this case the members of dera Sacha Sauda. The report had pushed the Badal family to wall and they are finding it hard to defend themselves. This is infact classic case of a son demolishing the towering image of his father by his riedicules acts.
Sukhbir Badal who has stepped into his father’s shoes is running the party show in cvollussion with his brother-in-law Bikram Singh Majithia and they both run the government where Parkash Singh Badal was used to defuse the political crisis. Though Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report has named Parkash Singh Badal as an accused in the whole episode, it failed to examine the role of Sukhbir Singh Badal who was de=facto Chief Minister and also home minister of state. Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini had told the commission that he had inforned Badal about the seriousness of protest by Sikhs in Behbal Kalan. But how it was possible that DGP would not take orders from CM or the home minister before firing on innocent Sikhs.
Now when Parkash Singh Badal has stated that he had not issued orders of firing to police, then questions are obvious to be asked, if it was decision of Sukhbir Singh Badal? The question also arises why Justice Ranjit Singh Commission didnt examined this issue?
The SAD-BJP government led by Parkash Singh Badal had formed Zora Singh Commission of inquiry to probe the incidents of sacrilege under public pressure and to defuse the crisis. The Zora Singh commission in its report had reportedly pointed out the role of dera Sacha Sauda followers in the sacrilege cases. Badal was not ready to receive the report and sent a junior officer to receive it and then decided not to make the report public. Rather Sukhbir Badal went on to blame ISI of Paksitan and sometimes intelligence agency of German and unidentified foreign powers behind the cases of sacrilege cases. Badal who had realised they are losing the elections had handed over the sacrilege cases to CBI so that new government could’nt not reach to the bottom of conspiracy. (CBI is under Center government ruled by BJP led NDA alliance of which SAD is a partner).
All these decisions by Badal per say Sukhbir Singh Badal have gone heywire and are now being questioned by traditional Akalis who were feeling isolated in the Sukhbir style of coprporate functioning of party which was aimed to influence the public opinion by web of lies and false publicity of achievements. Even though BJP was part of the government but Sukhbir Badal had grabbed all the powers and scuttled normal functioning of government and the party i.e. he had centralised all the powers to him and enjoyed absolute power which led to rise of mafias under his control.
SAD at its core committee meeting a few days back had formed a panel to reach out to ‘Taksali’ (traditional) Akalis to help the party to come out of present crisis. The Taksali Akalis were marginalised by Sukhbir Badal and they were reduced to nonentities in the party. It shows the level of frustration in the mind of Sukhbir Badal due to his opposition in the core committee meeting. The core committee members have questioned Sukhbir Badal for not taking action against dera followers and not implementing Zora Singh Commission report. The SAD leaders have also challenged Sukhbir Badal for boycotting the Vidhan Sabha session and not participating in debate over Justice Ranjit Singh Commission. Certain members have also expressed dissent to decision of holding state wide protest against Justice Ranjit Singh. Intrestingly, bioth Sukhbir and Majithia didnt participate in protests and only low rung party workers were mobilised for it.
Atleast four senior SAD leaders former SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Prem Singh Chandumajra MP and former minister Jathedar Tota Singh have spoken out against ‘political bluders’ of Sukhbir Badal. Makkar said that he was against pardon to dera chief Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh and had expressed resentment against Sukhbir Badal’s move. He said that he was not consulted before taking the decision of exonerating dera chief at Akal Takht. The decision was later taken back when Sikh bodies raised hue and cry and accused Badal of deal with dera Chief. Ranjit Singh commission has now touched this issue and allegations were levelled that a deal of Rs.100 crore was struck with dera chief.
Makkar has also disagred with the decision of boycotting assembly debate on Ranjit Singh Commission and said that he was against politics of efficy burning. He said that Akali government had failed to act on Zora Singh commission report. Chandumajra had also opinined that it was not wise decision to walk out of asembly on such an important issue. Tota Singh and Sekhwan beside other leaders have questioned Sukhbir Badal’s ability to lead the party.