Other States

Akali Dal to support NDA’s presidential nominee

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal. FIle

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal. FIle | Photo Credit: PTI

Former BJP alliance partner, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), on Friday announced support for NDA’s presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu. The Congress reacted by saying that the SAD now stands completely “exposed”.

In a statement, the party said the Akali Dal accepted Ms. Murmu’s appeal for support in the forthcoming election “as she symbolises the cause of minorities, the exploited and backward classes as well as the dignity of women. She has emerged as a symbol of the poor and tribal segments in the country”.

The Akali Dal had quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 2020 over the three controversial farm laws (repealed later)

“While our reservations with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over key issues like removing a sense of security from the minds of minorities, and justice for Punjab, especially the Sikhs, still remain, the SAD is eventually inspired and guided by the ideals placed before humanity by the great Guru Sahiban in supporting the cause of the poor, the downtrodden and minorities, including the tribal segments of society. Ms. Murmu not only symbolises the dignity of womenfolk but also belongs to the very downtrodden and the minority classes for whose cause the great Guru Sahiban made supreme sacrifices,” said a resolution passed by the party’s core committee here.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said the party would never swerve from its core pro-Punjab, pro-minority, pro-farmer and pro-poor agenda. “But in the presidential poll in question, the options before the party are limited. The party can never even think of supporting a candidate sponsored and supported by the number enemy of the Sikhs, the Congress and its direct and indirect allies. Our decision is guided and inspired by our principles and convictions based on the ideals placed before us by the great ‘Guru Sahiban’ and we have chosen to go by these principles and ideals in supporting Ms. Murmu,” said Mr. Badal, who met Ms. Murmu along with other party members, and offered the support of the SAD.

Taking a dig at the SAD, Congress leader and MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira said: “The real face of Sukhbir Singh Badal and his so-called SAD is exposed as they support BJP candidate for President! It means his decision to break the alliance with the BJP was a farce and under the pressure of farmers’ agitation. He could have abstained if he didn’t want to support the Opposition candidate.”

Support from Haryana, Himachal

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal, along with Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala of the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) and all the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs, Ministers and MLAs of the BJP and the JJP, met Ms. Murmu here as she appealed for their support.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, along with BJP MPs and MLAs, met Ms. Murmu at Baddi in Solan district. Mr. Thakur said the selection of Ms. Murmu for the post of President was a reflection of the positive and holistic thinking of the BJP.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 8:52:42 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/akali-dal-to-support-ndas-presidential-nominee/article65589973.ece