Up in arms
Has anyone noticed that Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Parkash Singh Badal and party leader Sukhbir Badal… none of them have expressed any opinion on the Union Budget 2019-20 ? This is the first time that SAD, which praised the Budget last year, hasn’t quite been eloquent about the Budget this time. Last week, on Friday, the general secretary of the party, Manjinder Sirsa had issued a general statement that if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not stop meddling in the affairs of gurudwaras, the SAD could consider breaking the alliance and walking out of the coalition. This might be too extreme, but the provocation seems to be the moves made by the BJP to install Sikh members from its party to lead the bodies that run gurudwaras across the country — including in Nanded, Patna and Delhi. There are also reports that the Centre is mulling significant amendments in the Gurudwara Management Act. This has provoked SAD leaders to say that if this happens, the Sikhs will rise to defend their religion which is more important to them than anything else.
Making a move
A member of the Janata Dal United (JDU) and legislator of the Bihar council, Rishi Mishra has quit the JDU and joined the Congress. Mishra said he contested the election against the BJP. How could he now continue to justify his presence in the JDU when it had become an ally of the BJP ? He made it clear that he has no problems with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar but could not stay as an alliance partner of the BJP.