Tuesday, Dec 26, 2023

Boost to Sukhbir’s panthic unity call: Manjit Singh rejoins SAD, merges party

The SAD president said, “With all panthic factions in Delhi becoming one, he would also strive for the same in Punjab. Some have already returned to the SAD fold, and I appeal to all those who haven't to return to their mother party.

sukhbir singh badal, SAD, manjit singh, punjab, indian expressSAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal welcomes Manjit Singh GK and others into the party fold in Delhi on Monday. (Express Photo)

In a significant development in Akali politics, former Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjit Singh GK on Monday rejoined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) along with his entire Jago party team in Delhi.

Manjit Singh GK vowed to work “in tandem with Delhi SAD president Paramjit Singh Sarna to strengthen the party in the national capital as well as work for resolution of all pending Sikh issues”, a press release issued by the Akali Dal said.

Paramjit Singh Sarna on his part termed SAD president Sukhbir Badal as the “undisputed” leader to lead the Akali Dal, stating in his address in Delhi that there was no parallel to junior Badal.


Earlier on Monday, Sukhbir Badal visited Manjit Singh GK’s residence along with Paramjit Singh Sarna and the senior leadership of the party. DSGMC member and former councillor Paramjit Singh Rana also rejoined the SAD who, according to Paramjit Singh Sarna, had played a pivotal role in bringing Manjit Singh GK back into the Akali Dal fold.

On Tuesday, SAD (Sanyukt) is set to form a committee to decide whether to merge with the Akali Dal led by Sukhbir Badal. SAD (Sanyukt) president and veteran Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa told The Indian Express, “I have been authorised by party leaders to constitute the committee.”

Festive offer

Meanwhile, in the release Manjit Singh GK said, “The SAD president had shown immense grace by coming to his residence to appeal for panthic unity.” He announced that he was “rejoining the SAD along with his entire Jago party team unconditionally”.

He also asserted that he was “impressed by the heartfelt apology rendered by the SAD president before the Akal Takht”.


Sukhbir Badal had recently apologised to the Sikh community for the failure to apprehend the culprits involved in the 2015 sacrilege cases during their party’s government in alliance with the BJP.

Manjit Singh GK added, “Unity is the need of the hour and is required to resolve our pending issues be it freedom for Bandi Singhs (Sikh prisoners), amendment to Article 25 (clause-2b), restitution of gurdwaras – Sri Gian Dodri Sahib and Sri Dongmar Sahib –, stopping interference in Shiromani committee affairs and dilution of Punjab’s right over Chandigarh.”

He also castigated the Union government for “going back on its commitment to release all Sikh prisoners on the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji” and accused it of “having double standards by making excuses to deny freedom to Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana but releasing Bilkis Bano’s rapists”.


For the unversed, Balwant Singh Rajoana was convicted in the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in 1995, while Bilkis Bano was gang-raped and her three-year-old daughter was among 14 people killed by a mob on March 3, 2002, in Limkheda taluka of Gujarat’s Dahod district during the post-Godhra communal riots. Bilkis was pregnant at the time.

Welcoming Manjit Singh GK back into the party fold, Sukhbir Badal said in the release, “It is my fervent wish to effect panthic unity and it is a source of happiness that this has been achieved in Delhi.”

He also recollected “the huge contribution made by Manjit Singh GK’s father Jathedar Santokh Singh to the cause of the panth as well as the latter’s proximity with former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The SAD president said, “With all panthic factions in Delhi becoming one, he would also strive for the same in Punjab. Some have already returned to the SAD fold, and I appeal to all those who haven’t to return to their mother party.

First published on: 26-12-2023 at 14:30 IST
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