The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday condemned “the arbitrary, dictatorial and politically motivated” decision of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government to withdraw the Z+ category security cover of former minister and senior Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia.

In a statement, party spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said Majithia’s security cover had been withdrawn because the SAD had stood firmly with farmers against the Central agricultural laws as well as denial of official language status to Punjabi in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said the SAD had voted against the Central farm Bills in parliament besides quitting the Union cabinet and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

“It is clear Majithia is a victim of political vendetta. The SAD however will not be cowed down by such tactics and will continue to stand with farmers and Punjabis against the Central laws as well as any other issue which weakens the federal structure or is intrinsically anti-Punjab,” he said.

Speaking about Majithia’s security case, the SAD leader said Z+ category security cover had been given to him in 2010 during UPA rule on the basis of threat perception.

“The case was cleared by then home minister P Chidambaram who was known to be a hard task master on the basis of credible reports. We would like to know what has changed suddenly that the ten year old cover was withdrawn on the basis of a single line order,” Cheema said.

He said Majithia continues to be targeted by Pakistan based anti-national elements and gangsters who have openly threatened to eliminate him.

The SAD leader said even Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has recently talked about increased attempts of Pakistan’s ISI to revive terrorist activity in Punjab, particularly the Majha belt which shares a border with Pakistan.

“Majithia is from the Majha area. There have been seizures of drones and arms and ammunition. The law and order situation in Punjab, particularly the open license given to gangsters to operate at will from jails, is also known to everyone,” he added.

Stating the Union home ministry would be held responsible for any untoward incident following the withdrawal of Majithia’s security cover, the SAD leader said this kind of action which was clearly designed to brow beat opponents, was a new low in Indian politics.