Chandigarh: The General Assembly session of the Akali Party is scheduled to be held on December 15. This decision was taken by the Acting President of the Party, S. Surjit Singh Barnala. It is believed that a regular President would be elected in this session. Forty members of the party had made a written request for the convening of the session in order to settle the question of constitutional bar on the holding of two offices by one individual. S. Sujit Singh Barnala is at present holding two offices. He is Chief Minister and also Party’s acting President. Political circles feel that Barnala’s supporters would press for amendment in the constitution to enable him to hold two offices. It is not known what stand would be taken by other leaders like Parkash Singh Badal, Ravi Inder Singh and Amarinder Singh as they have been maintaining silence over the issue, Circles also feel that the sweeping victory of Barnala group in the SGPC elections has encouraged it to convene the session expeditiously in order to elect Sardar Barnala as the regular President for a two year term.

The Finance Minister, Mr, Balwant Singh, who is the Chief

Lieutenant of Barnala has been repeatedly saying that the reason for the fall of earlier Akali Ministries was primarily because of the personality clash between the Party President and the Chief Minister and he has been advocating the principle of keeping two offices with one person. Some party delegates are complaining that government machinery was used to mobilize support for certain candidates in the SGPC elections, they are also charging that Deputy Commissioners and Senior Superintendents of Police are working to mobilize support for Barnala’s President Ship.

Article extracted from this publication >>  December 6, 1985