SAD district chiefs support Sukhbir
Chandigarh October 10:
In a continued show of strength that consolidates the image of the SAD as a unified party, senior party leaders have sought disciplinary action against Manpreet Badal.
The move has the unanimous support of all 26 district presidents of the party that include three Cabinet ministers, an equal number of former ministers and an MP. Announcing this after an emergency meeting of all SAD district heads (read jathedars), the SAD leaders rallied behind the leadership of party President Sukhbir Singh Badal and sought “penal action against anyone who violates the party discipline”.
Reiterating their faith in the leadership of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, the district presidents said, “No individual is above the party and does not have the right to raise any issue without first taking the party into confidence”.
Initially the media briefing was started by former minister Sikandar Singh Maluka, who said the district jathedars felt the need to take stock of the situation that had developed within the party during the past two days. He said it was unanimously decided to ask the newly constituted disciplinary action committee of the party to take action against anyone (read Manpreet Badal) violating party discipline.
Revenue Minister Ajit Singh Kohar said, “We welcome the formation of the disciplinary action committee and we will recommend that the committee takes action against anyone, irrespective of who he is, for violating party discipline.” Incidentally, the district jathedars meet about once in two months, but this is the first time since 2007 that they addressed the media on any issue.
At the same time, Irrigation Minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon, who is known to be quite close to Manpreet Badal, was equally vocal about the “act of indiscipline”. When asked if Manpreet had no right to talk about his own department, he said, “Anything that he or I do is the joint responsibility of the government and no individual can take decision outside the party forum.”
He was joined by Punjab’s Jails Minister Hira Singh Gabria, who said, “A minister can surely talk about the achievements of his own department, but not on policy matters and that, too, before they are taken and discussed by the party. Former minister Gurdev Singh Badal confirmed that he had recommended action against Manpreet and would press for the same when the disciplinary action committee met. The MP, Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala, too, supported disciplinary action against Manpreet.