AMRITSAR, India: Simran jit Singh Mann, a former I.P.S. officer, has been appointed the President of the United Akali Dal. During his detention a five member presidium and thirteen member council will look after the party matters. Presidium members include: Baba Joginder Singh, Parkash Singh Badal, Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Surjan Singh Thekedar, and Gajja Singh. All members will have equal status and act under same power. Since Badal and Surjan Singh Thekedar are detained under National Security Act, in their place acting members of the presidium will be Gurdev Singh Badal and Prem Singh Lalpura.

This was announced by acting Jathedar of Akal Takht at Darshani Deodi in the Golden Temple Complex at 5:00 p.m. on February 5. The council members are Mr. Manjit Singh, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura ( former General Secretaries of Akali DalB), Major General Narinder Singh (Retired), in detention, Sukhjinder Singh, Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Sant Ajit Singh, Capt. Harcharan Singh Rode, Ujjagar Singh Sekhwan and five presidium members.

In place of three detained leaders the Priests have nominated Mr. Shaminder Singh, Bachittar Singh and Mrs. Bimal Kaur Khalsa. But Mrs. Bimal Kaur Khalsa has declined the offer and in her place Joga Singh has been nominated. Capt. Harcharan Singh is son of Baba Joginder Singh.

Under the new party program evolved by the High Priests, the President of the new Akali Dal is debarred from contesting parliamentary and assembly elections. No member of the party high command will become a minister during his two year term and within the organization an individual will not hold more than one office. The rules and objectives and programs were released by Prof. Darshan Singh after a closed door meeting. At the end of two page summary, there is a pledge.

In view of past experiences, the Akali Dal will not become a party to judicial commission that the Center may set up because such commissions tend to delay justice already long denied to Sikhs. The Akali Dal will have to commit itself to safe guarding the linguistic, economic, territorial and political interests of Punjab in the light of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. Under the new programme, the future Akali Dal governments have been prohibited from sending security forces into the Golden Temple Complex and other religious places. The party will oppose any such entry by the security forces. It will brook no interference from the Center in the maintenance of law and order in the state. The Akali Dal will not depend on Central paramilitary forces but will entrust law and order to Punjab police. The new rules and objectives have been divided into four parts: a, Party Programme b. Organizational Rules c. Office Bearers d. Prerequisites and special rules in the introduction of Party Programme it is stated that Akali Dal firmly believes that Khalsa Panth is an independent and separate nation whose political goal is preeminence of the Khalsa. The main objective of the Akali Dal therefore is to preserve the independent identity of the Panth and carve Out geopolitical environment which will reflect the aspirations and sentiments of the Sikh people.

The office bearers of the party are required to be Amritdharies, well versed in Gurbani, true Sikhs and teetotalers. No member of the party High Command will hold the party office for more than two years. Any member who violates the code can be expelled from primary membership by the party High Command.

Another point made in the programme is that no Akali government will enter into any agreement or accord with the Center without the written permission of the party High Command.

On the issue of its relationship with the All India Sikh Student Federation, the new Akali Dal will give legal and constitutional support or help as deemed necessary at a given point of time.

Article extracted from this publication >>  February 13, 1987