Chandigarh/Delhi, October 19
Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, member of Rajya Sabha, on Saturday resigned as the leader of Shiromani Akali Dal in the House. He had resigned from all party posts in September last year.
Dhindsa met Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and put in his papers. Naidu has forwarded the communication to the Secretariat, Rajya Sabha officials told The Tribune.
The veteran leader offered no comment or reason for the decision. Confirming his resignation as Akali Dal leader in the RS, his close aide told The Tribune that he was not keen on continuing as leader of the party, but would continue to be a member of the House.
His resignation as leader of the party signals his severing all ties with the party, where he was once seen as the tallest leader after party patriarch Parkash Singh Badal.
Over the past year after Dhindsa resigned from all party posts but continued to be a member of the party, several attempts were made by the party high command, including Badal and party general secretary Daljit Singh Cheema, to appease him.
He, however, remained steadfast in his decision. Even when his son, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, contested the general election from Dhindsa in Sangrur, he stayed away from campaigning.
In the midst of his stand-off with the party leadership, Dhindsa openly spoke against party president Sukhbir Singh Badal’s “style of functioning”.
His resignation now comes amid his increasing closeness to the BJP, which had also conferred Padma Bhushan on him earlier this year. Amid the strained ties between the Akali Dal and the BJP, his resignation as leader of Akali Dal in the RS is being looked at with keen interest.