Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal raised questions about Punjab Chief Minster Bhagwant Mann’s Sikh identity. He accused him of being overshadowed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal. Badal’s comments came on Monday.
“I do not consider him a Sikh. He wears a turban to show that he is a Sikh. He does not know the history of Sikhs. We feel sad when we see him and hear his statements. They (AAP) are looting Punjab and Arvind Kejriwal is the CM of Punjab today, not Bhagwant Mann,” Sukhbir Singh Badal said.
The AAP, led by Bhagwant Mann, secured a landslide victory in the 2022 assembly elections, winning 92 seats in Punjab. In contrast, the Congress came in second with 18 seats, while Sukhbir Singh Badal’s Akali Dal managed to secure only 12 seats.
Despite the defeat, Badal urged the Sikh population to remain united, drawing a parallel with the Muslim population in the country.
“The population of Muslims in the country is about 18%, but they have no leadership because they are not united… We are 2%, but we are united under Sri Akal Takht Sahib. I appeal to all of you not to be divided and remain united… Shiromani Akali Dal will establish party units in all the states,” he said.
Regarding potential political alliances, Paramjit S Sarna, the Delhi unit chief of SAD, expressed openness to forming an alliance with the BJP for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. “We have no hesitation for an alliance with BJP (for 2024 Lok Sabha elections), but SAD is the bigger partner in Punjab. If they (BJP) agree to the clauses that were put forward by late Parkash Singh Badal earlier, we are ready to join hands with them,” Sarna stated. Additionally, plans were revealed to form Akali Dal units in Mumbai, Bihar, and Jharkhand.