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SAD decides to support Draupadi Murmu in presidential poll

Sukhbir S Badal says SAD continues to have differences with BJP but it cannot support candidate propped up by the Congress)

(Says Murmu symbolizes cause of minorities and tribal segments of society)

Chandigarh (Gurpreet) – The Shiromani Akali Dal today decided to support Ms Draupadi Murmu in the forthcoming presidential poll “as she symbolizes the cause of minorities, the exploited and backward classes as well as women and has emerged as a symbol of the poor and tribal segments in the country.”

” While our serious reservations with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the prevailing atmosphere of mounting divisive and communal polarization, especially the growing insecurity in the minds of the members of the minoritiy communities under the present NDA government remains strongly intact, the SAD is eventually inspired and guided by the ideals placed before humanity in supporting Ms Murmu as she not only symbolises the dignity of womenfolk but also belongs to the very downtrodden and the minority classes in whose cause the great Guru Sahiban made supreme sacrifices, “ said a resolution passed by the Core Committee at the end of in-depth and detailed discussion lasting over three hours at the paty head quarters here.

Giving details of the meeting to media persons SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal said the party was also deeply concerned over the dangers posed to human rights, especially to the democratic values like religious tolerance and freedom of speech as witnessed in the banning of material that highlights injustice to Punjab, especially against the Sikhs. “The party will never swerve from its core pro-Punjab, pro-minority, pro farmers and pro poor agenda. But in the presidential poll in question, the options before the party is either to support and candidate sponsored and supported by the Congress and its direct and indirect allies, or to be led by its conviction based on the ideals of the ideals great Guru Sahiban and we have chosen to go by the latter”, Mr Badal told newsmen.

Mr Badal also highlighted that several issues related to the Sikh community and Punjab remained unresolved and that the party was committed to doing its utmost to ensure they reached their logical conclusion. He said these included securing the release of all Sikh detenues whose sentences had been commuted by the central government on the occasion of 550th Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, handing over Chandigarh to Punjab as well as other issues like ensuring the status of Panjab University was not changed.

The SAD President, who also met Ms Draupaid Murmu at the union territory guest house here along with senior party members Balwinder Singh Bhundur, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra and Charanjit Singh Atwal, offered the support of the SAD to Ms Murmu. He informed Ms Murmu, who had earlier rung up the SAD president to seek support of her candidature, that the party’s core committee had taken a unanimous decision to support her candidature. He said the SAD can never support a candidate who had been propped up by the Congress party as the Congress had not only attacked and bombed Sri Darbar Sahib but was also responsible for massacre of Sikhs in 1984.