After being appointed as vice president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), prominent SGPC member Karnail Singh Panjoli has shown no interest in accepting this post. He said that that non-ideological leaders are ruling the party currently, and restoring its old glory is need of the hour.
In emotional words, he said, “Today I read in the newspapers that I have been appointed as vice president of the SAD by its president Sukhbir Badal. On the Panthik platform, I served long imprisonment at the age of just 17 years through the Akali Dal. I have fought a long struggle and remained underground for more than two years. Along with my wife, I faced torture in the custody of the then SSP Gobind Ram at the interrogation centre of Batala. In the wake of my service, sacrifice and loyalty toward the party, this post holds no meaning for me”.
“Neither I am happy over getting this post, nor am I sad. In fact, after the demise of former SGPC president Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, I was never assigned any task on any platform of the Akali Dal or the SGPC, for which I deserved. I strictly follow the ideology. So, this kind of post is meaningless for me”, he added.
Panjoli, who remained close to late Jathedar Tohra, said, “Today, the party needs to be taken on the track of ideology so that I regain respect from the public. It is high time for securing the interests of Panth and Punjab. I am an ideological Akali, but the party is ruled by non-ideological persons, which is not fair and against the party’s interests. I am not considered trustworthy in this party, despite being appointed as vice president is not less than a miracle”.
Before this, SGPC member and former General Secretary rejected the post of general secretary of the party’s women wing in October 2020 in protest against the appointment of Farzana Alam, wife of Sikhs’ butcher Izhar Alam, on the same post.
Kaur said, “I remember the terror created by Izhar Alam’s ‘Alam Sena’ in the late 1980s when he was SSP Amritsar. Sikh youth were targeted. Then he retired and became ‘panthik’, even became Vice President of Shiromani Akali Dal (B). Now his wife has been nominated as General Secretary Istri Akali Dal. Fine, your prerogative! But why put me on the same list? I do not want any post, thank you”.
Following backlash from the Sikh community, the party had to revoke the appointment of Mrs. Alam.