The Shiromani Akali Dal today declared that it would contest the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha elections in Haryana. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Core Committee of the party held here this afternoon. SAD chief Sardar Sukhbir Singh Badal presided the meeting.
The meeting was attended also by S Balwinder Singh Bhunder, S Hari Singh Zira, S Charanjit Singh Atwal, S Nirmal Singh Kahlon, S Bikram Singh Majithia , Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra , Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Daljit Singh Cheema, Baldev Singh Mann ,Bibi Upinderjit Kaur, Janmeja Singh Sekhon,S Sikander Singh Maluka, S Gulzar Singh Ranike and S Surjit Singh Rakhra.
Giving details of the decisions of the Core Committee, the party’s principal spokesperson Harcharan Singh Bains told newsmen that the party had decided to hold a Workers Meeting at Kurukshetra on September 22 to interview candidates interested in contesting the elections.
He said a screening committee headed by S Balwinder Bhundur had been formed for this purpose. He said all candidates interested in contesting the elections had already been asked to submit their applications by September 22.
Mr Bains also disclosed that a Committee headed by senior Akali leader Sardar Balwinder Singh Bhunder will hold negotiations with the Bharatiya Janata Party on seat sharing in the Haryana poll.
The other members of the Committee for the Haryana poll campaign are Professor Prem Singh Chandumajra and Sardar Surjit Singh Rakhra. The Committee will also prepare the party’s election campaign strategy.
The core committee today passed two special Resolutions. In one of these resolutions, the SAD urged the Government of India to order an immediate release of all Sikh prisoners who are languishing in different jails throughout the country despite having served their stipulated sentence.
The party urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to end their unjust and unconstitutional incarceration of these Sikh and other Punjabi prisoners through a special announcement on the eve of the 550th Parkash Utsav of Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji.
As a part of its federal vision, the SAD, in another resolution, reiterated its strong and principled commitment to the perseverance and promotion of the Punjabi language which forms a proud part of the great cultural heritage bequeathed to the people of this region by the great Guru Sahiban. “The party firmly believes that throughout the country the regional languages serve as inalienable symbol of the rich multi-cultural character of our federal and democratic polity”.
The party came down heavily against the Congress government in Punjab for “its insensitive and incompetent handling of the situation arising in the wake of floods in the state. It said the beleaguered flood affected people were left to fend for themselves and the government was nowhere to be seen.
“The Core Committee wholeheartedly applauds the role played by large hearted and public spirited individuals, voluntary and religious organizations and institutions, notably the SGPC, for the outstanding humanitarian work done by them during this crisis”, it said in the resolution.
The Core Committee demanded award of Rs 25, 000 per acre as compensation for crop loss or damage and a matching, liberal compensatory grant to farm labourers affected by these flood. The party also demanded full compensation to all flood affected people for loss of immovable properties.
Meanwhile, the party President Sukhbir Singh Badal set up campaign committees for the Jalalabad and Dakha by-elections. While former cabinet minister and senior leader Sardar Janmeja SIngh Sekhon will be the campaign in-charge of the Jalalabad constituency, senior vice president Dr Daljit Singh Cheema will head the panel for Dakha, said Mr Bains
The Core Committee expressed deep sorrow and grief over the tragic loss of lives in the Batala blast tragedy. Regretting the government apathy in dealing with the situation, the meeting demanded full compensation and rehabilitation measures for those affected by the tragedy.
The Core Committee deeply mourned the sad and untimely demise of “the great son of Punjab, Shri Arun Jaitley” and paid glowing tributes to him, placing on record the outstanding services rendered by him to the nation and to Punjab.
The meeting also paid glowing tributes to the outstanding daughter of Punjab, late Mrs Sushma Swaraj. The meeting passed condolence resolutions for the demise of Sardar Lakhbir Singh Araianwala, S Sukhdev Singh Batth, S. Sukhdev Singh Libra, Captain Avtar Singh Bhagta and S Jasjit Singh Thiara.