Panth Rattan late Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra’s son-in-law and former state minister Harmail Singh Tohra, who recently left Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and joined Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), on Thursday recounted the reasons compelling him to leave SAD as he poured his heart out, saying, “I left the Shiromani Akali Dal as it finally said goodbye to the legacy and ideology of late Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra and adopted emperialistic policies and sided with affluent culture, while ignoring the traditional Akalis as well as the family of the late Jathedar.
He said that the party changed its working style and left the path of propagating the Panthic values and due to the affluent culture overshadowing the traditional Akalis, most of the traditional Akalis started feeling suffocated in the party as nobody was ready to provide an ear for this very cause. He said that a number of times he tried to raise the issue with the party high command, but he failed due to reasons best known to them.
Tohra further added that earlier even late Jathedar Tohra had left the party as his voice was not heard and he had formed his own party All India Shiromani Akali Dal (AISAD) and followed Panthic values while working his entire life for the well-being of the Khalsa Panth. He said that it was due to this very factor that he headed the Mini Parliament of the Sikhs, that is Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for a record 29 terms.
“But now what happened was that the party tried to leave the legacy of the great Sikh leader, who devoted his whole life for the welfare of Sikh Panth.He claimed that the continued suffocation due to the party high command deliberately ignoring the Tohra family mainly played a major role in the family deciding to leave the party and finally, he felt let down when party president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal replaced him with Satbir Singh Khatra. When he questioned the decision, he was politely told that he was being replaced as he did not have enough money to contest.
When asked about the announcement of his family’s social boycott by Tohra village residents as well as some of the late Jathedar’s close aides, he stated that there was no question of such a thing happening and the threats were being issued by some stooges who wanted to garner brownie points from the ruling alliance by undermining his position.
Replying to a question regarding his joining AAP being opposed by party leader, he said that the comments were that person’s personal views and there had been no discussion on the matter with any AAP leader. “When you leave a party and join another, it is only common to be criticised by some. It is no big deal,” he said.
‘Only pretender left SAD, Tohra’s legacy still alive’
Patiala: Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) Member of Parliament from Anandpur Sahib Prem Singh Chandumajra, who was at one time a close aide of late Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, on Thursday came down heavily on Harmail Singh Tohra and commented that only a pretender had left the SAD, whereas the ideology and legacy of the late Jathedar is still carried by his close aides, not only in Punjab, but throughout the world.
Chandumajra said that as far as Harmail Singh Tohra was concerned that he belonged to Thuhi village falling in Nabha tehsil and so he was Thuhi and not Tohra. He said that if he claims to be a Tohra, then he was lacking the qualities that the late Jathedar had. He also dismissed the allegations of the Tohra family that they were being ignored by the party high command.
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