Face-saving by Akalis - ECAS Punjab

Face-saving by Akalis

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Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17

The resignation of Union Cabinet Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal is clearly a face-saving attempt by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), given the fact that Harsimrat was part of the Cabinet that cleared the farm Bills and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal did not oppose these Bills then.

The SAD took a U-turn after Punjab farmers, the party's core base, took to the streets opposing the Bills.

Having lost ground in the battle of public perception, the party had no choice but to pull out of the NDA government. Farmers believe that the Bills are aimed at dismantling the MSP regime as well as the mandis. Senior party leader PS Chandumajra was among the first to warn the party on the issue. Later, in a strong message to the party leadership, former state minister Sikander Singh Maluka hinted at a "vertical split" in the party.

The SAD received a 'very negative' feedback during its 'Pind Jagao' campaign in August. It cannot risk another drubbing in the 2022 Vidhan Sabha elections.

The party performed dismally during the 2017 elections, winning just 15 of the total 117 seats. The incumbent Congress government is losing sheen for not having honoured its poll promises so far and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is trying to recover lost ground by highlighting issues of public interest. The SAD will need to start from ground zero to win the people's trust.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3kkReu6

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