Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday declared that once voted to power, the SAD-BSP alliance will have a representative of the Punjabi Hindus as Deputy Chief Minister.
This, he said, will make the SAD- BSP Government truly representative of the composite Punjabi culture and a symbol of complete Punjabi unity, peace and communal harmony as espoused by five time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Announcing this after a meeting of the Core Committee of the party which he chaired here this evening, Sukhbir Badal said, “we understand that there are external forces which want to disturb the peace of Punjab by pitching communities against each other. We want to guarantee Punjabis that the SAD will continue to follow the policies of Parkash Singh Badal under which all religions were respected and honoured. We are committed to keeping all communities together and it is with this in mind that the SAD has decided to have a representative from the Hindu community as a Deputy CM once it secures power in Punjab.”
Badal said the next SAD-BSP government would have two Deputy CMs as he had earlier already announced on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar that the SAD would offer the chair of Deputy CM to a Dalit once voted to power. He said Punjab had the highest population of Dalits vis a vis other States and it was felt that more efforts should be made to protect their interests.
The SAD President said the decision to have two Deputy CMs was in consonance with “the liberal secular ethos of Sarbat da Bhala handed down to us through the rich heritage of the great Guru Sahiban. It is also symbolic of the strong emotional bonds that bind the different communities together. In addition, the party is committed totally to ensuring complete social justice based on human dignity and equality and repairing the emotional social fabric of Punjab was fractured by Congress conspiracies of ‘divide and rule’.
Badal also announced that in the forthcoming parliament session the SAD would move an adjournment motion demanding the three agricultural laws be repealed. He appealed to all political parties to support the SAD in this endeavor by supporting the adjournment motion and even signing on it so that it could be taken up for discussion. He said the SAD would continue to raise its voice for the farmers till all their grievances were not resolved.
Answering a query about a public whip issued by the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, the SAD President said the entire country was aware that if any party had issued a whip to vote against the three black laws when they were presented in parliament it was the SAD. He said even then the Kisan organizations had made public appeals to political parties not to boycott parliamentary proceedings and instead vote against the farm laws. “Despite this the Congress and AAP boycotted the proceedings leaving it us to take a stand against the laws by voting against them,” Badal added.