1. UJAGGAR SINGH SEKHWAN has resigned as acting president of the resigned Unified Dal (UAD) and requested its presidium, which includes the former chief minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, to run the affairs of the party.

The resignation, handed over to Mr, Badal a fortnight ago, will be considered by the UAD presidium and council at a joint meeting here ‘on Wednesday. According to indications from the party sources, the resignation would be accepted.

Mr. Simranjit Singh Mann, a former IPS officer currently detained under NSA, is the president of the UAD launched at the Akal Takht in February last year. Mr. Surjan Singh Thekedar was appointed acting President of the party and this mantle fell on Mr. Gurdev Singh Badal when the former was also detained under the NSA. He was appointed to the post when Mr. Gurdev Singh Badal was also arrested.

‘The five member presidium was constituted to run the affairs of the party in the absence of Mr. Mann. It considered of Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, Mr. Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Baba Joginder Singh, Mr. Surjan Singh Thekedar and Mr. Geja Singh. Of them, Mr. Talwandi and Mr. Geja Singhare still detained. As the ailing Baba Joginder Singh, father of late Jarnail ‘SIngh Bhindranwale, isalmost confined to bed, the party will have Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and Mr. Thekedar at the helm of its affairs.

Mr. Badal confirmed that he had received the resignation of Mr. Sekhwan. He had informed Mr. Thekedar and Baba Joginder Singh about the development. Declining to go into the causes of the resignation, he said the resignation vindicates the legal position that the presidium should look after the party.

However, it is learnt from party sources that Mr. Sekhwan was persuaded to quit the post to harmonies discordant voices in the party. Differences between Mr. Sekhwan and Mr. Amrinder Singh, leader of the UAD legislature party are well known and had almost split the party when Mr. Badal was still under detention.

‘The rift was patched after the release of Mr. Badal on December 2 and the former Chief Minister emerged as a leader who could have taken everyone in the party along. It was primarily because of his balancing strategy that the series of district rallies and dharnas started by the party from January 4 drew large gathering and were peaceful.

Apart from Mr. Amarinder Singh, there are other factors which continue to give inward jolts to the party despite its superficial unity. The constitution of district units in the absence of Mr. Badal had created an organizational problems and followers of Baba Joginder Singh refused to accept some of the district setups. The UAD council had authorized Mr, Badal and Baba Joginder Singh on December 18 to sort out the differences but the very next day, Mr. Sekhwan made it clear that the leadership of the units constituted by him would not be changed.


Article extracted from this publication >> January 29, 1988