In what is being seen as an attempt to crack down on dissenting voices within the party, president of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Sukhbir Badal announced a reconstituted core committee and advisory board of the party on Wednesday, dropping some senior disgruntled leaders.
The party had dissolved all committees and boards following the loss in the Sangrur bypoll and the recommendations made by the Jhundan committee. The party’s core committee had authorised Sukhbir to set up the new structure as per Iqbal Singh Jhundan panel’s report, which discussed the reasons behind the loss in the elections and the need for a change in leadership.
On Wednesday, the party announced an eight-member advisory board and a new 24-member core committee. Noticeable among those dropped from the core committee are senior leaders, Jagmeet Brar and Manpreet Ayali.
Harcharan Singh Bains, who was earlier national advisor to the party president, is also missing from the advisory board. Brar and Ayali have been at the forefront of the revolt against the party’s top leadership after it suffered an embarrassing drubbing at the state assembly polls held in March. SAD could win only three seats in the assembly elections and its candidate lost the security deposit during the Sangrur bypoll.
The Shiromani Akali Dal, however, has not made the Jhundan panel report public.
Ayali had rebelled against the party’s decision to vote for NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu and had called for a change in leadership. Even SAD’s senior vice president Jagmeet Singh Brar had called for change.
Sources said that a peeved Brar is expected to meet the media soon to announce his angst and next course of action. The eight-member advisory board included Charanjit Singh Atwal, Kirpal Singh Badungar, Bibi Upinderjit Kaur, Baldev Singh Mann, Prakash Chand Garg, Vir Singh Lopoke, Varinder Singh Bajwa, and Jarnail Singh Wahid.
The party had recently sacked former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur after she was adamant about contesting for the post of president and indulging in “anti-party activities”. The Sukhbir Badal-led party has seen several senior leaders revolting and demanding changes at the top level.
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