Senior Akali leader Dhindsa quits all party posts citing age, health (Lead)
Chandigarh : Senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa on Saturday resigned from all positions in the party, citing "advancing age and deteriorating health".
The resignation invited sharp reaction from other parties with a Congress leader saying that Dhindsa quit the party posts as he was feeling "suffocated".
Dhindsa sent his resignation to SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal. A veteran leader, Dhindsa, 82, was the General Secretary of the SAD and member of the party's core committee.
Apart from his declining health, other reasons are being read into the development, particularly the SAD facing allegations related to incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib during the regime of the Akali Dal in 2015.
Dhindsa, a former Union Minister for chemicals and sports, was absent at the SAD's "Jabar Virodh" rally, which took place in Faridkot on September 16, while the entire top brass of the party was present at the rally.
Dhindsa's son, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, was the Finance Minister (2012-2017) in the government headed by then Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
While Badal, 90, a five-time chief minister, is still going strong as patron of the SAD, the resignation by Dhindsa has raised questions about political crisis within the SAD.
Congress legislator Raj Kumar Verka, reacting to the resignation by Dhindsa, told a news channel that the veteran leader was "feeling suffocated" in the present set up in the SAD.