Senior Shiromani Akali Dal.leader from Chandigarh Gurpartap Singh Riar on Wednesday resigned from the party and joined the recently floated SAD (Taksali). Riar, vice president of SAD's Chandigarh unit, joined the Taksali outfit in the presence of its chief Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, who is sitting MP from Khadoor Sahib.
Speaking on the occasion, SAD (Taksali) senior leader Sewa Singh Sekhwan said that "exodus" of senior leaders from SAD led by Sukhbir Singh Badal continues. He said that the Taksali Akalis (old guard) had raised their voice against SAD's alleged deviation from its "panthic agenda".
Sekhwan said the voice of the Taksalis was not being heard in the SAD, which he claimed was being controlled by the Badal family. "Several senior leaders are not happy with the way SAD is functioning at present. No senior leader leaves a party, which he has served for years, just on a minor issue. The fact that it is not just one or two such leaders, but several who have left SAD, which clearly indicates that all is not well in that party," Sekhwan told reporters here.
Riar, who also remained president of SAD's Chandigarh for several years in the past, said that he had joined the Taksali.party "unconditionally". Former Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh, who recently joined SAD (Taksali), was on Wednesday appointed as senior Vice President and spokesman of the party.
A week ago, former Indian Army chief and former Governor Gen J J Singh had resigned from the SAD and joined the SAD (Taksali). Brahmpura and some other Taksali Akalis (old guard) including Sekhwan, who had last year raised their voice against SAD's alleged deviation from its core principles, had floated a separate outfit in December.