From Our Special Monitoring Service

Amritsar — Baba Joginder Singh, Covener United Akali Dal has announced that his party will boycott the forthcoming elections. The party working committee had authorized Baba Joginder Singh to take decision regarding participation in the elections at its meeting on August 25. In the meeting the Opinion was divided on this crucial question. Representatives of AISSF and Damdami Taksal were opposed to the idea of contesting election.

The elections, according to the announcement, have been boycotted in view of the Satanic army attack on the Golden Temple in June *84, illegal detention of the members of All India Sikh Students Federation and their continued elimination through fake police encounters and in view of the holocaust against Sikhs after Indira Gandhi’s assassination.

The announcement also categorically stated that the Party will not disrupt or interfere in the process of elections. The decision to boycott is likely to purge the party of opportunist elements. They will in all probability go to the ‘Sarkari’ (Govt.) Akali Dal which has the tacit support of Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, and Panjab Governor, Arjan Singh. This support is the result of Rajiv Gandhi’s policy of ruling Punjab through an Akali Dal of his own men rather than through his congress (I) party. He would be able to continue with his jab Police in anti-Sikh policies and also get the agreement ratified by a party that professes to be the representative voice of the Sikhs. He has found in persons like Balwant Singh, Barnala and Ravi Inder Singh better accomplices than Darbara Singh and Buta Singh. He has also succeeded in planting his Doon School buddies like Maharaja Amarinder Singh in the higher echelons of the Sarkari Akali Dal.

Meanwhile, government has sealed all Punjab borders. Heavy army deployment has been made on Pakistan and Jammu & Kashmir border. Seven thousand additional Police force has been sent to guard important installations and also to help Pun ensuring peaceful elections.

Article extracted from this publication >>  August 30, 1985