After Haryana, Shiromani Akali Dal now preparing to contest elections in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan

Longowal: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday said his party is preparing to enter electoral politics in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. He was speaking at a conference held in Longowal to pay tribute to former SAD president Sant Harchand Singh Longowal on his death anniversary.

"After Haryana, the party is now preparing to enter electoral politics in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan," Badal said.

File image of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal. AFP

File image of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal. AFP

On Sunday, Badal had said at a party rally that SAD will contest the parliamentary and state assembly elections in Haryana independently next year. He also appealed to Sikhs across the country to unite under the SAD banner.

Following in the footsteps of Sant Longowal, Badal said, the party is taking up the issues of the community and working to resolve them, be it in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir or Shillong.

Badal also paid rich tributes to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who passed away last week. He said Vajpayee never discriminated against anyone in the name of caste, religion or state and that the former prime minister was a true friend of Punjab and the Punjabis.

The SAD president launched a blistering attack on Chief Minister Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in Punjab. He alleged that Singh was so desperate to seize power in the run-up to the 2017 Assembly elections that he promised everything from a complete farm loan waiver of Rs 90,000 crore, unemployment dole of Rs 2,500 to creating employment avenues for all, but did not fulfil any promise after coming to power.

Badal said even after over a year-and-a-half of the Congress coming to power, its government had not been able to present any evidence of any Akali worker or leader being behind incidents of sacrilege of the Guru Grant Sahib.

Similarly, he said, the Congress had not been able to prove the involvement of any Akali worker or leader in encouraging the drug trade.

Badal also attacked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and said it was strange how sacked Leader of Opposition of Punjab Assembly Sukhpal Singh Khaira was now finding faults with the party's national convener Arvind Kejriwal. "Earlier, when Khaira was the leader of the Opposition, he found him (Kejriwal) to be the most ideal leader," the SAD president said.

He said Khaira was now accusing the AAP of selling tickets ahead of the 2017 Assembly elections but had not raised his voice earlier.

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Updated Date: Aug 21, 2018 07:34:29 IST

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