A faction of dissident Akali leaders on Tuesday "elected" Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa as the SAD president at a gurdwara, a move dubbed as "illegal and fraud" by the party. Currently, Sukhbir Singh Badal is the party president.
Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, along with his son and former state finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, was expelled from the SAD in February this year allegedly for "anti-party" activities.
Mr Dhindsa later joined hands with the party's splinter groups, including the SAD (Taksali).
Proposing the name of Mr Dhindsa for the post of the president, two-time Lok Sabha member Parminder Kaur Gulshan said the Sangrur convention held recently under the chairmanship of the leader had "removed" Sukhbir Singh Badal from the post of the party president.
She said Mr Dhindsa, a "newly elected president" of the SAD, will function from the party office in Amritsar.
Jagdish Singh Garcha and Harjit Kaur Talwandi, daughter of former party president the late Jagdev Singh Talwandi, seconded the proposal.
Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal's senior leader Daljeet Singh Cheema described this move as "illegal and fraud" and accused the expelled leader of acting at the behest of the Congress.
Mr Cheema said the SAD is a 100-year-old party which is registered with the Election Commission of India.
"What they have done is 100 per cent fraud. It is illegal and amounts to forgery. They are doing it at the behest of the Congress," he said.
The SAD had earlier alleged that the Rajya Sabha MP and his son Parminder Dhindsa were being used as "pawns" by the Congress in a bid to weaken the party.
However, Mr Dhindsa on the occasion said the party will strive hard to establish the eroded principles of the Sikh politics and liberate Sikh institutions from the "clutches" of the Badals.
He asserted that they will fight to solve major issues of Punjab and to strengthen the federal system in the country.
Former Union minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia; Manjit Singh GK, former president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC); former state deputy speaker Bir Davinder Singh; SAD (Taksali) leader Sewa Singh Sekhwan; ex-Punjab minister Jagdish Singh Garcha and his brother Maan Singh Charcha ; and Parminder Singh Dhindsa were present on the occasion.