Chandigarh, July 15
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal announced that his SAD-BSP government would have two deputy chief ministers—a Dalit one as well as one from Punjab’s Hindu community—if they’re voted to power.
“This will make the SAD- BSP government truly representative of the composite Punjabi culture and a symbol of complete Punjabi unity, peace, and communal harmony as espoused by five-time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal,” a press note quoted him as having said after a core committee meeting.
“We understand that there are external forces which want to disturb the peace of Punjab by pitching communities against each other. We want to guarantee Punjabis that the SAD will continue to follow the policies of Mr Parkash Singh Badal under which all religions were respected and honoured,” he said.
“We are committed to keeping all communities together and it is with this in mind that the SAD has decided to have a representative from the Hindu community as a Deputy CM once it secures power in Punjab.”
He said Punjab had the highest population of Dalits vis-a-vis other states, and it was felt that more efforts should be made to protect their interests.
He also said that the decision to have two Deputy CMs was in consonance with “the liberal secular ethos of Sarbat da Bhala handed down to us through the rich heritage of the great Guru Sahiban”.
“It is also symbolic of the strong emotional bonds that bind the different communities together. In addition, the party is committed totally to ensuring complete social justice based on human dignity and equality, and repairing the emotional social fabric of Punjab was fractured by Congress conspiracies of ‘divide and rule’,” he claimed.
He also announced that his party would move an adjournment motion demanding the three agricultural laws be repealed in the forthcoming parliament session.
Monsoon session of Parliament is scheduled to begin on Monday.