Akali leaders were taken by surprise by the sudden announcement of holding elections in Punjab on September 22. Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, President Akali Dal reportedly said in Ludhiana on August 18 that his party never runs away from elections. Publically Sant Longowal had demanded that the elections might be postponed till early next year but political circles claim that Surjit Singh Barnala and Balwant Singh the two aides of Sant Longowal had secretly approved the plan to hold elections earlier because of the growing resentment against them. Longowal says that the Akali Dal has the feeling that if the elections are postponed till earlier next year, by then Parkash Singh Badal and Gurcharan Singh Tohra may succeed in overthrowing Longowal from the presidency. A meeting of the Senior Akali leaders at village
Longowal in Sagrur authorized Longowal to nominate Parliamentary Board for selection of candidates for coming election in Punjab. Both Mr. Badal and Mr. Tohra boycotted this meeting. According to Akali circles the two leaders wanted the elections to be boycotted. Efforts were still going on to persuade Mr. Badal and Mr. Tohra to join the party mainstream. Sant Longowal met both leaders in Patiala on Sunday night.
Akali Dal lead by Baba Joginder Singh is yet to announce its decision about contesting election and Baba had called a meeting of Ad Hoc Committee on 21 August at Amritsar. There are reports of dialogue between certain aides of Baba and Longowal section of Akali Dal about adjustments of seats, but all India Sikh Students Federation may not allow Baba for any such adjustment.
Article extracted from this publication >> August 23, 1985