Former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal. (File photo)
Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Sunday accused the Congress of trying to defame the Akali Dal by using the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report, and dared the party to take the desecration cases to court rather than making statements in public.
Addressing the first rally in phase two of SAD’s ‘Pol Khol’ campaign in Abohar, the hometown of state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, Parkash Singh Badal said: “Rather than making statements about me or my party, I dare the Congress to take the desecration matter to court. Now that they have taken the sacrilege cases back from the CBI and will depute yet another biased officer for these cases. But we are fearless as SAD is meant to serve the ‘panth’ and will continue doing so till the end of our lives….no development can take place in a state, if there is no brotherhood.”
Claiming that there was a threat to “SAD-BJP brotherhood” in the current atmosphere, he said, “I have been in politics for the last 70 years, but I will not let the divide and rule policy of the Congress work. When it comes to preventing a divide between Hindus and Sikhs, I will be there for any sacrifice, and so will Sukhbir. In fact, the whole Akali Dal will not allow peace of Punjab to be disturbed at any cost….I have come out to address a public rally after a long time as I have sensed that the SAD-BJP brotherhood is in danger…”
The former CM said that this was his first Akali Dal rally after the state polls, though he was present in Malaut in July when PM Narendra Modi visited the state.
“I have come out for a public rally for the first time after Vidhan Sabha polls, all thanks to the Congress for making the poll scene in Punjab active with their false allegations…I am 93 years old, but after looking at the huge crowd, I am feeling 39.”
Attacking Justice Ranjit Singh (retd), the former CM said, “I am not against any Commission, but I am against Ranjit Singh as he is biased. He is a Congressman and even when he was judge, our men used to get cases transferred to other courts when they used to be put before Ranjit Singh.”
Badal also accused CM Amarinder Singh of indulging in vendetta politics.
He said, “When Amarinder’s government was there from 2002-2007… he had framed me. He had put me and Sukhbir behind bars and even booked my wife who is no more now. After seven years, I was acquitted… Amarinder, however, had said that he would finish SAD’s name… I had withdrawn the Rs 10 crore defamation case filed against Amarinder after this and had given a message that I don’t want vendetta politics. However, he has once again walked in the same direction. I will not allow a fight between brothers in Punjab, which though is the motive of Congress.”
SAD chief Sukhbir Badal alleged that Congress and AAP had joined hands in defaming SAD for sacrilege incidents.
The next Pol Khol rally is scheduled for September 15 in Kotkapura.
Meanwhile, at Abohar bypass, SAD leaders Sukhbir Badal and Parkash Singh Badal were shown black flags by Sikh organisations. The protesters said that they were from Abohar’s gurdwara committees and were supporting the Bargari Morcha. The protest was led by United Akali Dal and SAD (Amritsar) leaders.
with the Express Morning Briefing