Shiromani Akali Dal
PresidentSukhbir Singh Badal
Lok Sabha LeaderHarsimrat Kaur Badal
Founded14 December 1920 (103 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
Women's wingIstri Akali Dal[3]
Labour wingShiromani Akali Dal SC wing[4]
Peasant's wingShiromani Akali Dal BC wing[5]
Punjabi nationalism[10][11]
Political positionCentre-right[16][17]
Colours  Navy Blue & Saffron
ECI StatusState Party[18]
AllianceNational Democratic Alliance (1998–2020), SAD+BSP (2021-Present)[19] Indian National Lok Dal(2022-present)
Seats in Lok Sabha
2 / 543
Seats in Rajya Sabha
0 / 245
Seats in Punjab Legislative Assembly
3 / 117
Election symbol
Weighing Balance

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) (translation: Supreme Army of God) 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.[20][21][22] Although there are many parties with the description Akali Dal, the party that is recognized as "Shiromani Akali Dal" by the Election Commission of India is the one led by Sukhbir Singh Badal. The party has a moderate Punjabi agenda.[23] On 26 September 2020, they left the NDA over the farm bills.[24]


British India

Further information: Akali movement

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.[25] Akali movement influenced 30 new Punjabi newspapers launched between 1920 and 1925.[26]

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.[27]

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.[28]

As with other Sikh organisations, Master Tara Singh and his Akali Dal strongly opposed the partition of Punjab, which he thought would create an environment of possible persecution as they supported the idea of “Azad Punjab”(Free Punjab).[29]

Post Independence India

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.[30] In 1966, the present Punjab was formed. Akali Dal came to power in the new Punjab in March 1967,[31] 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.

Modern Factions

Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa along with other Akali leaders came together at a Gurdwara in Ludhiana on July 7, 2020 to re-establish SAD (D).Dhindsa was chosen as president of the revived political party. He claimed SAD (D) as the true Shiromani Akali Dal and that the one so called was taken over by the Badal family.[32]

Prior to this in late 2018, expelled senior members of Shiromani Akali Dal Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Rattan Singh Ajnala, Sewa Singh Sekhwan, their relatives and others had formed SAD (T).[33] The reasoning of the expelling was due to their accusations of the Badal family steering Shiromani Akali Dal in the wrong path.

Ahead of the 2022 Punjab Legislative Assembly election, both SAD (T) and SAD (D) were dissolved to be merged together into a new political party by the name of Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt). This party entered into the National Democratic Alliance to contest the Punjab elections alongside the candidates of Bharatiya Janata Party.[citation needed]


Shiromani Akali Dal's main goals are the protection of Sikh rights, Punjab's waters, and opposition to the Sutlej Yamuna link canal.[34]

1996 Moga Conference

In 1996, at a historic conference in Moga, Shiromani Akali Dal adopted a moderate Punjabi agenda and shifted party headquarters from Amritsar to Chandigarh.[35]

Party presidents

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

S. No. Name Portrait Term Start Term End
1 Sarmukh Singh Jhabal ? 14 December 1920 ?
2 Kharak Singh ? ?
3 Master Tara Singh ? ?
4 Gopal Singh Qaumi ? ?
5 Tara Singh Thethar ? ? ?
6 Teja Singh Akarpuri ? ?
7 Babu Labh Singh ? ? ?
8 Udham Singh Nagoke ? ?
9 Giani Kartar Singh ? ? ?
10 Pritam Singh Gojran (Gujjran Sangrur) ? ? ?
11 Hukam Singh ? ?
12 Fateh Singh ? ? ?
13 Achar Singh ? ? ?
14 Bhupinder Singh ? ? ?
15 Mohan Singh Tur ? ?
16 Jagdev Singh Talwandi ? ?
17 Harchand Singh Longowal ? 20 August 1985
18 Surjit Singh Barnala ? ?
19 Parkash Singh Badal ? 2008
20 Sukhbir Singh Badal 2008 Incumbent

Current Members in Houses

House Current Members Leader
Union Parliament
Lok Sabha 2 S. S. Badal
State Legislature
Punjab Legislative Assembly 3/117 Manpreet Singh Ayali

Punjab Chief Ministers belonging to Akali Dal

Chief Ministers In office
Gurnam Singh (17 February 1969 – 27 March 1970)
Parkash Singh Badal (27 March 1970 – 14 June 1971)
Parkash Singh Badal ( 20 June 1977 – 17 February 1980)
Surjit Singh Barnala (29 September 1985 – 11 June 1987)
Parkash Singh Badal (12 February 1997 – 26 February 2002)
Parkash Singh Badal (1 March 2007 – 16 March 2017)

In general elections

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[36][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 2 Decrease 6 25.58%
2004 Indian general election 14th Lok Sabha 8 Increase 6 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 in Punjab 17th Lok Sabha 2 Decrease 2

In state elections




See also


  1. ^ "SOI".
  2. ^ "SOI Clash". Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  3. ^ Pioneer, The. "Istri Akali Dal protests in front of CM residence". The Pioneer. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  4. ^ "SAD's SC wing feels 'powerless' in Pathankot". The Indian Express. 21 May 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  5. ^ Jerath, Arati R (14 January 2017). "SAD activists seek BC candidate". The Tribune. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  6. ^ Narang, Amarjit Singh (1 March 2014). "The Shiromani Akali Dal". The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199699308.013.020. ISBN 978-0-19-969930-8.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "'Any history of SAD has to be critical of Badals'". The Tribune India. 16 December 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  9. ^ I P Singh (28 July 2014). ""Panth in danger" – Badal's politics shifts back from Chandigarh to Amritsar". Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  10. ^ "SAD aims to widen reach, to contest UP poll". The Tribune. Chandigarh. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Grover, Verinder (1996). Encyclopaedia of India and Her States: Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab, Volume 4. Deep & Deep. p. 578.
  13. ^ "Akali Dal Slams Amritpal Singh Crackdown, Offers Help To Those Arrested". NDTV. 22 March 2023. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  14. ^ "Parkash Singh Badal calls for 'genuinely federal structure' for country". The Economic Times. 7 December 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  15. ^ Bharti, Vishav (6 August 2019). "Article 370: SAD 'dumps' its core ideology of federalism". The Tribune. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  16. ^ Roy, Meenu (1996). India Votes, Elections 1996: A Critical Analysis. Deep & Deep Publications. ISBN 978-81-7100-900-8.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "List of Political Parties and Election Symbols main Notification Dated 18.01.2013" (PDF). India: Election Commission of India. 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  19. ^ SAD-BSP form alliance for 2022 Punjab Assembly polls. 12 June 2021, Outlook India.
  20. ^ S., Saizel (14 January 2019). "Shiromani Akali Dal, the second oldest party of India, has made the biggest sacrifices: Sukhbir Badal". PTC News. Retrieved 14 July 2023.
  21. ^ "Glorious past, but Shiromani Akali Dal faces serious crisis of identity, popularity & credibility". The Times of India. 14 December 2020. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 14 July 2023.
  22. ^ D'Souza, Shanthie Mariet (9 April 2014). "Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)". Britannica. Retrieved 14 July 2023. The precursor to the present-day SAD was an organization established in December 1920 to help guide the quasi-militant Akali movement of the early 1920s, in which Sikhs demanded and (through the Sikh Gurdwara Act of 1925) won from the ruling British authorities in India control over the gurdwaras (Sikh houses of worship). The present-day SAD, which has claimed to be the oldest regional political party in India, has also controlled Sikh religious institutions such as the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) and, more recently, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee.
  23. ^ VINAYAK, RAMESH. "Akali Dal led by Parkash Singh Badal break from the past to forge a moderate agenda". India Today. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  24. ^ "Punjab's Akali Dal Quits BJP-Led Alliance Over Controversial Farm Bills". Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  25. ^ "Punjab Ke Dangal Mein Kiska Mangal?". NewsClick. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  26. ^ Bharti, Vishav. "How it became Punjabi journalism's finest hour". The Tribune. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  27. ^ Jalal, The Sole Spokesman 1994, p. 23, 97.
  28. ^ Talbot, Pakistan: A Modern History 1998, p. 74.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ Service, Tribune News. "Shiromani Akali Dal, since 1920". The Tribune. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  31. ^ Singh, I. P. "Being Badals". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  32. ^ "Akali Dal split official — Dhindsas move election-commission for registration of SAD (D)". Financial Express. 22 September 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  33. ^ "Expelled Akali leaders launch SAD (T)". Tribune India. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^ ""Panth in danger" – Badal's politics shifts back from Chandigarh to Amritsar". Times of India Blog. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  36. ^ In 1967 Lok Sabha Elections, the winners in Punjab were Akali Dal Sant (ADS) 3, Bhartiya Jana Sangh (BJS) 1 and Indian National Congress (INC) 9 seats