Chandigarh: Shiromani Akali Dal on Monday declared that it would rather not contest Delhi Assembly Elections 2020 than sacrifice the interests of the minorities or compromise on the secular principles taught to us by the great Guru Sahiban. Accordingly, the SAD declared that it would stay away from the electoral process in the forthcoming assembly poll in Delhi. He said “India is a secular country with rich religious, cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity. This diversity is the strength of our unity. We cannot compromise on this vision of India for which ancestors have made supreme sacrifices.”
While addressing media persons, national spokesman of SAD Manjinder Singh Sirsa and party’s Delhi unit president Harmeet Singh Kalka said that there are strong ideological differences between the two parties on the issue of the Citizens Ammendment Bill on which the SAD wants the Muslims to be included in the Act, and on NRC which the SAD is firmly opposed to and can never support.
The SAD said that differences on this sensitive and critical issue have been coming to the fore during the debate on the issue of Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 which was passed in Parliament. Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal took a principle on this issue during the debate, standing by the minorities and upholding the principles of secularism in the spirit of “sarbat da bhala“. The same stand was repeated by Shiromani Akali Dal by Balwinder Singh Bhunder in Rajya Sabha also ”that stand is non-negotiable.”
He added that “We are firm that all minorities, including the Muslims alongwith the Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, Jains, Parsis, Budhist who are facing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have to be protected by our great nation. The muslim community must not be left out of the CAA process as leaving them out would go against the basic principles of Shiromani Akali Dal and the great teachings of our great Gurus. As a representative of the minorities in general and of the Khalsa Panth in particular, the SAD follows the foot-steps of our Great Gurus on secular and humanitarian equality as articulated in our daily Ardaas, We truly understand the pain, anguish and sufferings of other minorities and cannot compromise on their interests.”
In last several rounds of meetings with Bhartiya Janata Party, the BJP leaders were pressing upon the Shiromani Akali Dal to withdraw their stand on Citizenship Amendment Act vis-à-vis the minorities Muslim community. Shiromani Akali Dal stand was categorically stated in no uncertain terms that Shiromani Akali Dal will stand by each and every word it said in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and thereafter in Punjab Vidhan Sabha that along with Hindus, Sikhs, Chstrians, Budhist, Jains, Parsis, the muslim community should also be included in CAA process.
Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal made its position clear on the National Register for Citizens that NRC should not be implemented that we cannot force people of India cannot be made to stand in queues to prove the credentials that they are Indians and to give proof of their forefathers. Though Shiromani Akali Dal is the oldest ally of Bhartiya Janata Party and is most respected partner of the National Democratic Alliance but will never deviate from the teachings of the Great Gurus and the core ideology of the Party.