Chandigarh — The Akali Dal is not likely to extend its support to any opposition party in the ensuing assembly elections in some of the states.

The issue was _informally discussed by some senior party leaders recently. The consensus reportedly was that the matter should be left to the local Akali units in each state. They should decide their attitude on the basis of local situation.

The Akali Dal has pockets of influence in areas outside Punjab where there is sizable Sikh population. These areas include parts of western UP, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. In Haryana, where three by elections are being held. Tohana has a sizable Sikh population.

The main reason for not declaring the party’s support for any political party seems to be the realization in the party that its support can prove counter-productive for the Opposition parties as had happened during the Lok Sabha elections. Whichever party or the candidate the Akalis had supported, suffered heavily.

Even the opposition parties do not want to give the impression of being supported by the Akali Dal in the elections or even having any connection with the party.

According to Akali sources, there is no likelihood of the Akali leaders from Punjab going to canvass support for any Opposition party candidate in any state.

The Akali Dal ad hoc committee will meet here on Monday to discuss the latest ‘‘Panthic’’    situation.

The meeting, to be chaired by its convener, Mr. Surjan Singh Thekedar, would be attended by chiefs of various wings of the party.

According to Akali circles, the meeting will discuss the developments after the setting up of three-member ministerial panel to solve the Punjab tangle and the role of the Akali Dal in the coming Assembly elections in March and rehabilitation of migrants.


Article extracted from this publication >>  February 22, 1985