The sudden decision of the 74-year-old Ramoowalia, who has had stint with different parties during his long political career, took the Akalis by surprise.

Ramoowalia, who is a former Union Minister, told reporters that he has resigned from the SAD and forwarded his resignation to the party chief.

However, SAD's senior leader Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal said that "We are yet to receive resignation of Ramoowalia, who was party's senior vice-president.”

"I have great respect for Mulayam Singh ji. He rang me up yesterday morning and told me that the SP party wants my services. I could not say no. When I became Minister in the Union Cabinet in 1996, I was not even an MP then, at that time too it was possible because of Mulayam ji," Ramoowalia, who was SAD's Senior vice-president, told reporters.

Ramoowalia added that even UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had urged him to make the switch. To a question, the Ramoowalia said that he did not have any grudge against the Akali Dal.

"I just decided to make the move. I have submitted my resignation from the party. To all my colleagues in Akali Dal, I will say that I will always have great respect for them," he said.

SAD's General Secretary and MPPrem Singh Chandumajra stated that Ramoowalia's decision to leave the party will not affect the Akali Dal.

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