Akali politics takes a turn, two arch-rivals merge in name of ‘unifying Sikh community’

Chandigarh: Once again, Akali politics has seen the formation of a strategic alliance with the merger of Paramjit Singh Sarna-led Shiromani Akali Dal – Delhi (SAD-D) with Sukhbir Singh Badal-led Shiromani Akali Dal – Badal (SAD-B) – which to the recent past were not only ideologically opposed, but accused each other of causing serious Panthic damage. Often farces and jokes are played by the great political swindlers to get their unsuspecting followers to trust them and that’s what happened in the latest political merger in Akali politics after a staunch opponent of Badals, Sarna sang hymns to Badals who also awarded him presidency of his party’s unity in Delhi after bestowing upon him siropa (garment of honor) called ‘unifying the Sikh community’.

It is abundantly clear that the threat to their own political existence and their bleak political future, under the present circumstances, have brought together Badals and Sarnas, who have suddenly come to see the “hidden enemies” of the Panth who exist of Khalsa Panth and its institutions.

Notably, on 9 October, Paramjit Singh Sarna, former Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president, merged his SAD (D) with SAD (B) with the aim of “unifying the Sikh community”.

Not only was he appointed chairman of the party’s Delhi unit, but he was also given the task of building party units in other states.

Former spokesman for the prominent Sikh seminary Damdami Taksal turned BJP leader Professor Sarchand Khiala believes SAD(B) is like a sinking ship and Sarna’s support will not help it survive.

“After being rejected by the people of Punjab in the latest parliamentary elections, the Badals are now trying to make their political comeback with support from parties like SAD (D),” Sarchand Singh claimed.

While stating that until the recent past, both the Badals and the Sarnas had bitter feelings for each other, he wondered how they would justify their “past” actions for the Panth.

In politics, unexpected and strange bedfellows are made, but only time determines how the leaders of both parties will explain their newfound bonhomie to the Panth.

Sources believe the former DSGMC president has changed BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa’s tightening grip on Punjabi politics and his rising political stature has forced the Badals and Sarnas to forge political ties in the name of Panthic unity before BJP’s Sikh leadership could further damage their highly political existence.

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