Shiromani Akali Dal - Wikipedia

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) (translation: Supreme Akali Party) is a centre-right Sikh-centric state political party in Punjab, India. The party is the second-oldest in India, after Congress, being founded in 1920. Although, there are many parties with the name Akali Dal but the party recognised as "Shiromani Akali Dal" by the Election Commission of India is the one led by Sukhbir Singh Badal. It controls Sikh religious bodies Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee and is the largest and most influential Sikh political party worldwide.[16] The basic philosophy of Akali Dal was to give a political voice to Sikh issues and it believed that religion and politics go hand in hand[17] but after 1996 the Moga Conference party adopted a moderate Punjabi secular agenda.[18] On September 26th, they left the NDA over the farms bill.[19]

Shiromani Akali Dal
PresidentSukhbir Singh Badal,
Lok Sabha leaderHarsimrat Kaur Badal
Rajya Sabha leaderNaresh Gujral
Founded14 December 1920 (100 years ago) (1920-12-14)
HeadquartersBlock #6, Madhya Marg
Sector 28, Chandigarh
NewspaperAkali Awaaz
Student wingStudent Organisation of India [1] (SOI)[2]
Youth wingYouth Akali Dal[3]
Women's wingIstri Akali Dal[4]
Labour wingShiromani Akali Dal SC wing[5]
Peasant's wingShiromani Akali Dal BC wing[6]
Punjabi regionalism[8]
Strong Federalism[9][10]
Political positionCentre-right[12][13]
Colours Navy Blue
ECI StatusState Party[14]
Seats in Lok Sabha
2 / 543
Seats in Rajya Sabha
3 / 245
Seats in Punjab Legislative Assembly
14 / 117
Election symbol
Weighing Balance


British IndiaEdit

Akali Dal was formed on 14 December 1920 as a task force of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, the Sikh religious body. The Akali Dal considers itself the principal representative of Sikhs. Sardar Sarmukh Singh Chubbal was the first president of a unified proper Akali Dal, but it became popular under Master Tara Singh.[20] Akali movement influenced 30 new Punjabi newspapers launched between 1920 and 1925.[21]

In the provincial election of 1937, the Akali Dal won 10 seats. The Khalsa Nationalists won 11 seats and joined the coalition government headed by the Unionist leader Sikander Hyat Khan. The Akalis sat in opposition and made occasional forays into reaching an understanding with the Muslim League, which never reached fruition.[22]

In the provincial election of 1946, the Akali Dal won 22 seats and joined the coalition government headed by the Unionist Khizar Hayat Khan Tiwana, along with the Indian National Congress. The Muslim League was unable to capture power, despite having won the largest number of seats, which perhaps suited it fine as it strengthened its Pakistan demand. The Muslim League launched a civil disobedience campaign, bringing down the Tiwana government by March 1947. The rest of the period till Indian independence was filled by Governor's Rule.[23]

As with other Sikh organisations, Master Tara Singh and his Akali Dal strongly opposed the partition of India, which he thought would create an environment of possible persecution.[24]

Independent IndiaEdit

In the 1950s, the party launched the Punjabi Suba movement, demanding a state with majority of Punjabi speaking people, out of undivided East Punjab under the leadership of Sant Fateh Singh.[25] In 1966, the present Punjab was formed. Akali Dal came to power in the new Punjab in March 1967,[26] but early governments didn't live long due to internal conflicts and power struggles within the party. Later, party strengthened and party governments completed full term.


Shiromani Akali Dal's party constitution has important agenda as protection of Sikh religion and objectives of the community as initially it was a youth wing of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.[27] Protection of Punjab's waters and opposition to Sutlej Yamuna link canal is main agenda of party.[28]

1996 Moga ConferenceEdit

In 1996, at a historic conference in Moga, Shiromani Akali Dal adopted moderate identity from Panthic (Sikh) to secular Punjabi and shifted party headquarters from Amritsar to Chandigarh.[29]

Party DisputeEdit

On 7 July 2020, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Sewa Singh Sekhwan along with many more leaders from the Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali) came together at a gurdwara in Ludhiana and form Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic) and made Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa the new president of the Akali Dal democratic.When asked the new Party’s name, he said it will be Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic).

He said that this is the real Akali Dal, and that the other so called Akali Dal has a “(Badal)” behind it. He said that the party will push the Election commission to make the party’s symbol the same type of weigher as the Badal’s Party, they will also push the BJP to break it’s alliance with the Badal’s and add his party to the National Democratic Alliance.

Because of this dispute, removing Both Dhindsa and Badal from President Rank’s will cause fire between supporters and may make the Akali dispute deeper. So any Article including the Akali Party will have to also include either Badal or Dhindsa as Presidents of the party. Daljit Cheema has called this move un Democratic and fraud and theft, however nobody took that serious... ever since then many people have been joining Dhindsa’s faction, he said to the Punjab Democratic Alliance, Navjot Sidhu, Aam Aadmi Party, and all Akali Factions except for Simranjit Mann’s to all come together and form a strong third front.

At first everybody thought it was a joke, they said they were all standing with the Badal’s when they did the beadbi, but later on, the Lok Insaaf Party admitted that they were having talks. Many Political parties and families have joined with his faction, United Akali Dal merged with the party on July 25th 2020, the Sandhu and Talwandi Families have merged with the party, and so have many more politicians. Dhindsa said that he is waiting for the Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali) to merge.

Party presidentsEdit

Following is the list of presidents of the party as given on party website.

Current Members in HousesEdit

House Current Members Leader
Union Parliament
Rajya Sabha 3 Naresh Gujral
Lok Sabha 2 S. S. Badal
State Legislature
Punjab Legislative Assembly 14/117 S. S. Dhillon

Punjab Chief Ministers belonging to Akali DalEdit

In general electionsEdit

Year General election Seats won Change in # of seats Percentage of vote Vote swing
1945 Indian general election 6th Central Legislative Assembly 2 Increase 2
1951 Indian general election 1st Lok Sabha 4 0.99%
1957 Indian general election 2nd Lok Sabha 0 Decrease4
1962 Indian general election 3rd Lok Sabha 3 Increase3 0.72%
1967 Indian general election 4th Lok Sabha 0[30][better source needed] Decrease3
1971 Indian general election 5th Lok Sabha 1 Increase1 0.87%
1977 Indian general election 6th Lok Sabha 9 Increase8 1.26%
1980 Indian general election 7th Lok Sabha 1 Decrease 8 0.71%
1984 Indian general election 8th Lok Sabha 7 Increase 7 17.9%
1989 Indian general election 9th Lok Sabha 0 Decrease7
1991 Indian general election 10th Lok Sabha 0 Steady
1996 Indian general election 11th Lok Sabha 8 Increase 8 0.76%
1998 Indian general election 12th Lok Sabha 8 Steady 0.81%
1999 Indian general election 13th Lok Sabha 10 Increase 2 25.58%
2004 Indian general election 14th Lok Sabha 8 Decrease 2 34.28%
2009 Indian general election 15th Lok Sabha 4 Decrease 4 0.96%
2014 Indian general election 16th Lok Sabha 4 Steady 20.30% Decrease 13.55%
2019 Indian general election 17th Lok Sabha 2 Decrease 2

In state electionsEdit




See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "SOI".
  2. ^ "SOI Clash". Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  3. ^ World, Republic. "WATCH: Youth Akali Dal protests against Nankana Sahib Gurdwara attack". Republic World. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  4. ^ Pioneer, The. "Istri Akali Dal protests in front of CM residence". The Pioneer. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  5. ^ "SAD's SC wing feels 'powerless' in Pathankot". The Indian Express. 21 May 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  6. ^ Jerath, Arati R (14 January 2017). "SAD activists seek BC candidate". The Tribune. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  7. ^ "SAD aims to widen reach, to contest UP poll". The Tribune. Chandigarh. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  8. ^ Pandher, Sarabjit (3 September 2013). "In post-Independence India, the SAD launched the Punjabi Suba morcha in the 1960s, seeking the re-organisation of Punjab on linguistic basis". The Hindu. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Parkash Singh Badal calls for 'genuinely federal structure' for country". The Economic Times. 7 December 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  10. ^ Bharti, Vishav (6 August 2019). "Article 370: SAD 'dumps' its core ideology of federalism". The Tribune. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  11. ^ Grover, Verinder (1996). Encyclopaedia of India and Her States: Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab, Volume 4. Deep & Deep. p. 578.
  12. ^ Roy, Meenu (1996). India Votes, Elections 1996: A Critical Analysis. Deep & Deep Publications. ISBN 978-81-7100-900-8.
  13. ^ Chum, B. K. (1 December 2013). Behind Closed Doors: Politics of Punjab, Haryana and the Emergency. Hay House, Inc. ISBN 978-93-81398-62-3.
  14. ^ "List of Political Parties and Election Symbols main Notification Dated 18.01.2013" (PDF). India: Election Commission of India. 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Explained Ideas: Why Shiromani Akali Dal parted ways with the BJP". The Indian Express. 24 September 2020.
  16. ^ Kumar, Ashutosh (2004). "Electoral Politics in Punjab: Study of Akali Dal". Economic and Political Weekly. 39 (14/15): 1515–1520. ISSN 0012-9976. JSTOR 4414869.
  17. ^ Narang, Amarjit Singh (1 March 2014). "The Shiromani Akali Dal". The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199699308.013.020.
  18. ^ VINAYAK, RAMESH. "Akali Dal led by Parkash Singh Badal break from the past to forge a moderate agenda". India Today. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Punjab's Akali Dal Quits BJP-Led Alliance Over Controversial Farm Bills". Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  20. ^ "Punjab Ke Dangal Mein Kiska Mangal?". NewsClick. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  21. ^ Bharti, Vishav. "How it became Punjabi journalism's finest hour". The Tribune. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  22. ^ Jalal, The Sole Spokesman 1994, p. 23, 97.
  23. ^ Talbot, Pakistan: A Modern History 1998, p. 74.
  24. ^ Kudaisya, Gyanesh; Yong, Tan Tai (2004). The Aftermath of Partition in South Asia. Routledge. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-134-44048-1. No sooner was it made public than the Sikhs launched a virulent campaign against the Lahore Resolution. Pakistan was portrayed as a possible return to an unhappy past when Sikhs were persecuted and Muslims the persecutor. Public speeches by various Sikh political leaders on the subject of Pakistan invariably raised images of atrocities committed by Muslims on Sikhs and of the martyrdom of their gurus and heroes. Reactions to the Lahore Resolution were uniformly negative and Sikh leaders of all political persuasions made it clear that Pakistan would be 'wholeheartedly resisted'. The Shiromani Akali Dal, the party with a substantial following amongst the rural Sikhs, organized several well-attended conferences in Lahore to condemn the Muslim League. Master Tara Singh, leader of the Akali Dal, declared that his party would fight Pakistan 'tooth and nail'. Not be outdone, other Sikh political organizations, rival to the Akali Dal, namely the Central Khalsa Young Men Union and the moderate and loyalist Chief Khalsa Dewan, declared in equally strong language their unequivocal opposition to the Pakistan scheme.
  25. ^ Service, Tribune News. "Shiromani Akali Dal, since 1920". The Tribune. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  26. ^ Singh, I. P. "Being Badals". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  27. ^ Singh, Jupinderjit. "Any history of SAD has to be critical of Badals". The Tribune. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  28. ^ Bariana, Sanjeev Singh. "'We've sacrificed a lot in the long journey of making party relevant in Indian polity'". The Tribune. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  29. ^ ""Panth in danger" – Badal's politics shifts back from Chandigarh to Amritsar". Times of India Blog. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  30. ^ Akali Dal – Sant Fateh Singh, a splinter group won 3 seats


External linksEdit