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Gajinder Singh Resigns as Chairman of Dal Khalsa International

As a report by Varinder Walia in The Tribune (October 1, 2005) points out, the resignation comes on the 24th anniversary of the Indian Airlines hijacking by Gajinder Singh and four other Dal Khalsa members, including Satnam Singh Paonta Sahib, a favorite to succeed Gajinder Singh as chairman of Dal Khalsa International. Another favorite is Jaspal Singh Dhillon, currently chairman of the Human Rights and Democratic Forum. The party constitution, to which Gajinder Singh refers in his resignation letter, states that the party president may serve "a maximum of two terms in a row." H.S. Dhami, too, was deemed an ineligible successor, having served two terms as acting president. Gajinder and Satnam both underwent fourteen years imprisonment in Pakistan. Walia also reports that Gajinder refused offers to ammend the constitution to allow him to continue as chairman. An October 2 press release from the Dal Khalsa announced that Satnam Singh had been "nominated" as the next leader.

The Sikh Times, Sep. 30, 2005

Photo: Gajinder Singh

TO: Members of the Executive Committee, Dal Khalsa, Punjab

Dear Brothers:

Today when Dal Khalsa is on its own feet, and well placed in Sikh politics, I wish to resign to give chance to some new associate to head the party. It was never my wish to stick to the post of president/chairman for the whole of my life.

I reorganized Dal Khalsa in 1986 and accepted the post of chairman in the best interest of the party. When I reorganized the party, it was a non-entity in Sikh politics - only [a] few small groups were working under the name of the Dal Khalsa.

I always wished to change the political culture of the Sikh nation, where heads of the organisations/parties leave posts only with their physical death or political death. In this spirit, and respecting the constitution adopted by the party four years ago with my consent, I request members of the executive committee of the Dal Khalsa to accept my resignation. I also request the party delegates to elect a new president in the coming 27th annual meet of the organization slated [for] October 2 at Chandigarh, to lead the party in a democratic way to establish new healthy traditions in Sikh politics.

I would also like to welcome Human Rights and Democracy Forum chairman Mr. Jaspal Singh Dhillon into the party fold.

I thank all my associates who had always given great love and respect to me. Wishing all of you the success for the next term.


Gajinder Singh