Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday lashed out at the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for bartering away the Constitutional principles to promote their political interest, with their latest U-turn over supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Delhi polls.Reacting to SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal’s latest statement that the party had thrown its weight behind the BJP in Delhi, the Chief Minister said these flip-flops had nailed the Akali lies on their stand on the unconstitutional and divisive Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).Referring to Sukhbir’s explanation for the U-turn, that the `miscommunications’ between the two parties had been sorted out, Captain Amarinder demanded to know whether the BJP had agreed to amending the CAA in line with SAD’s earlier stand, or the Akalis had once again surrendered themselves to the BJP at the cost of the nation’s interest. “You owe an explanation to the people,” he told Sukhbir, castigating him for the SAD’s unprincipled stand on this issue of grave concern, which had been getting exposed every second day, since they openly and wholeheartedly supported CAA in Parliament.The SAD’s decision to backtrack on its earlier stand to extend its support to BJP in Delhi just a week before the scheduled polls indicated that they had used CAA as a bargaining chip to secure some political gains, said the Chief Minister. This development, he said, clearly exposed the Akalis’ selfish intentions and the Badal family’s desperation to hold on to power as part of the ruling alliance at the Centre.
Captain Amarinder said Sukhbir’s shameless face-about on the issue showed that the Badals had no longer had any qualms about abandoning even the pretense of the SAD being a principled party. It was sad that a party formed to uphold certain principles no longer cared about political ethics, nor did it seem concerned about following the ideology of the great Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, who had propagated the oneness of all beings, irrespective of their religion, he added.Rather than quit the ruling NDA, which would have been the right thing to do after claiming not to support CAA without inclusion of Muslims, Sukhbir had chosen to stay with the BJP, whatever the cost for the people of India, the Chief Minister quipped.The SAD U-turn in Delhi had also further accentuated the divide within the Akalis, which appeared to be on the verge of another split, said Captain Amarinder, adding that the party was clearly a divided House and no longer capable of giving a political fight on its own, which had become evident in Haryana. Obviously, they need the BJP to hand-hold them on the political ladder, especially in view of the fact that elections in Punjab are just two years away and they have no political leg to stand on, he said. No wonder Sukhbir had been constrained to clarify, just two days ago, that the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab was intact.It was time, however, that Sukhbir and his associates realised that such an unprincipled, unethical and opportunist alliance can have no political future, said Captain Amarinder, adding that the 2022 Assembly polls in Punjab will spell the death-knell of the party and save the state from the destructive designs of the Akalis.