Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and president of the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee Manjinder Singh Sirsa on Wednesday joined the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), after quitting from his post.
Before joining the BJP, Mr. Sirsa announced his resignation on Twitter. “With gratitude to all office bearers, members, staff & people who worked with me; I am resigning from Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee as president. I will not contest upcoming DSGMC internal elections. My commitment to serve my community, humanity & nation remains same!” he said in a Tweet.
Mr. Sirsa is considered to be close to the ‘Badal’ family in Punjab and his joining the saffron party is being seen as a jolt to the Shiromani Akali Dal ahead of the Assembly polls in Punjab, due in early 2022.
Mr. Sirsa joined the BJP in the presence of Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. After his joining, Mr. Shekhawat, who is the BJP’s in charge for the Punjab polls, said he was confident that Mr. Sirsa’s entry will immensely benefit the party in the polls.
Mr. Sirsa said there are several issues of Sikh community that have been ignored for the last over 70 years, due to weak leadership. “I have joined the BJP with the sole aim that all such issues that have been lingering on for over 70 years shall be seen resolving very soon,” he said.
Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma said Mr. Sirsa’s move has ensured that the BJP will get a huge majority.
‘Continuation of Indira Gandhi tactics’
The SAD described Mr. Sirsa’s decision as an attempt by the enemies of the “Khalsa Panth” to achieve through conspiracies what they cannot achieve with the will of the Sikhs.
“This is the continuation of Indira Gandhi tactics against Sikh quom and one more direct assault on the religious sovereignty of Khalsa Panth through the misuse of governmental might and the registration of false cases. Sikh Panth accepts this challenge and will meet it head on,” it said.
“A case was registered against Mr. Sirsa, SAD Delhi president Jathedar Harmeet Singh Kalka and 11 other members of the DSGMC and Kalka Sahib. But while Kalka Sahib and all other members lived up to the traditions of the Khalsa Panth in fighting repression, it is unfortunate that Mr. Sirsa buckled under pressure and betrayed the Khalsa Panth and spirit,” it said. “Now the present Central Govt. has taken over the role which the Congress governments at the Centre used to play in the past.”