Poll results won't deter us from working for farmers, poor in Punjab: SAD chief

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Chandigarh, Jun 10 (PTI) Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday said the poll outcome of the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections in Punjab will not deter him and his party from working for the cause of 'panth' (community), especially farmers and the poor.

Badal said that as the party president, he has wholeheartedly accepted the people's mandate.

"Our commitment to 'panth' and Punjab, especially farmers and the other poorer sections, is not subject to election results. We will work even harder to fulfil our commitment to the aggrieved and downtrodden sections of the society," the SDA chief said in a statement.

In the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress dealt a blow to the ruling AAP and the opposition BJP and SAD, winning seven of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in the high-stakes polls in Punjab even as two independents registered a surprise victory. Badal also congratulated TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, JD (U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray and other leaders of the regional parties on their performance in the Lok Sabha elections.

In separate communication to these leaders, Badal said his party will support any initiative towards strengthening the federal structure of the country with emphasis of greater fiscal autonomy to states.

The SAD managed to retain only the Bathinda seat with Sukhbir's wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal registering a victory from this constituency.

The Badal-led party also saw a drop in its vote share from 27.45 per cent in 2019 to 13.42 per cent in 2024 polls.

"We have said it before and I reiterate that the party is guided by the eternal inclusive vision set before us by the great Gurus, saints and seers. This vision and our commitment to it is not a slave to whether we sweep an election or suffer reverses," Badal said in the statement.

"We have seen massive glory and faced great challenges. But neither affects our commitment to principles. For us, principles will continue to remain above politics, and beyond victory or defeat," he said.

"As a person, I keep an open mind and a humble attitude to the people's mandate and always remain sensitive to their wishes," the SAD chief said.

"The process of introspection is natural to any responsible political party such as ours. This is an ongoing process and we keep trying to look and relook at ourselves through the people's mind and keep trying to improve ourselves and be worthy of their love and respect," he added. PTI CHS BHJ BHJ

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