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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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Dissident Hit Party Announces New Core Committee, Advisory Board; Prominent rebels out

In what is seen as an attempt to quell dissent within the party, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal announced on Wednesday a reconstituted core committee and advisory board of the party, shirking some disgruntled leaders.

The party had dissolved all committees and boards after the loss in the Sangrur bypoll and the recommendations of the Jhundan committee. The party’s core committee had authorized Sukhbir to set up the new structure as per the Iqbal Singh Jhundan panel report, which discussed the reasons behind the loss in the election and the need for a change in leadership.

On Wednesday, the party announced an eight-member advisory council and a new core committee of 24 members. Notable among those who dropped out of the core committee are senior leaders, Jagmeet Brar and Manpreet Ayali.

Harcharan Singh Bains, who was previously national adviser to the party chairman, is also missing from the advisory board. Brar and Ayali have been at the forefront of the uprising against the party’s top leadership after it took an embarrassing beating at state assembly polls in March. SAD could only win three seats in the parliamentary elections and the candidate lost the bail during the Sangrur bypoll.

However, the Shiromani Akali Dal has not made the Jhundan panel’s report public.

Ayali had rebelled against the party’s decision to vote for NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu and had called for a change of leadership. Even SAD senior vice president Jagmeet Singh Brar had called for change.

Sources said an exasperated Brar is expected to meet with the media soon to announce his fear and next action. The eight member advisory board consisted of Charanjit Singh Atwal, Kirpal Singh Badungar, Bibi Upinderjit Kaur, Baldev Singh Mann, Prakash Chand Garg, Vir Singh Lopoke, Varinder Singh Bajwa and Jarnail Singh Wahid.

The party had recently sacked former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur after she was adamant about running for president and indulging in “anti-party activities”. The Sukhbir Badal-led party has seen several senior leaders revolt and demand changes at the top. level.

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