Akali Dal using CAA as excuse to not fight Delhi polls: Rebel leader Dhindsa
Chandigarh: Rebel Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said on Tuesday the party's decision to not contest the Delhi assembly election over the amended citizenship law was an "excuse", claiming that it knew of not winning any seat.
The SAD had announced on Monday that it would not contest the Delhi polls next month after it was asked by ally Bharatiya Janata Party to change its stand on the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Dhindsa, wondered why the SAD leadership were "shying away" from fighting the Delhi polls alone if they claimed they had strong influence among the Sikh voters in the region.
"It (not contesting Delhi polls over CAA issue) is just an excuse," the Rajya Sabha MP said. "They had voted for the CAA in Parliament. They knew that they are not going to win and that's why they decided not to contest Delhi polls."
Dhindsa had rebelled against the party leadership, especially its president Sukhbir Singh Badal, in a bid to "liberate" the SAD from the Badal family and "revive its lost glory".
The veteran leader said nobody had stopped the SAD to contest election alone.
"If they are saying they decided not to contest over CAA issue, who has stopped them from fighting alone? If they claim they have following among Sikh voters, then why don't they contest?" he asked.
In a press conference in Delhi on Monday, SAD leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa had said: "The Shiromani Akali Dal is of the firm stand that Muslims cannot be left out of the CAA."
The SAD claims to have following in many Sikh-dominated seats like Kalkaji, Tilak Nagar, Hari Nagar and Rajouri Garden in Delhi. It has been traditionally fighting on four of the 70 seats -- Shahdara, Kalkaji, Rajouri Garden and Hari Nagar -- in the Delhi polls in alliance with the BJP.
In 2013, the SAD had won three of the four seats, but failed to win even one in the 2015 election.