SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal. (Express photo by Gurmeet Singh/File)
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Friday charged Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of “colluding” with radicals to vitiate the peaceful environment in the state. Referring to the on-going dharna of radical leaders Baljit Singh Daduwal and Dhyan Singh Mand at Bargari in Faridkot to protest killing of two Sikh youths in police firing on protestors against incidents of sacrilege in 2015, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said the radicals are in constant touch with the chief minister.
“Amarinder Singh is bent upon bringing back dark days of terrorism… he is colluding with radicals to vitiate the peaceful environment of the state,” he told reporters here. “The radicals who are staging a dharna at Bargari close to Faridkot for the past over 100 days are doing so without any permission… they have become state guest and were being provided all basic facilities at the site on the behest of the government,” Sukhbir Singh Badal said.
Five-time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said “peace and tranquility are in danger in the state.” Alleging that the Congress government in the state want to take control over the Akal Takht and SGPC, he said, “I will not sit quiet… I will go to any extent even sacrificing my life to ensure peace and tranquility prevails in Punjab.” The top Akali leadership was venting its ire after its proposed rally at Faridkot on September 16 was banned by the Punjab government citing security reasons.
Describing the government’s decision “unfortunate”, Badal said it is against the interests of Punjab. Asking the government not to indulge in “drama”, Parkash Singh Badal said peace and tranquility should be maintained in the state. Claiming that the government’s decision was a political one, Sukhbir Singh Badal said, “The Congress leadership in the state is afraid after the success of SAD-BJP’s recent rally at Abohar. The decision to ban the rally has been taken by the government on the advise of radicals.”
Alleging that “radicals are running the government”, the SAD chief termed Amarinder Singh the “most inefficient CM”. The chief minister is spreading lies on incidents of sacrilege in the state, Sukhbir Singh Badal said. Meanwhile, the SAD has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh against the Punjab government’s decision to ban the SAD-BJP rally.
The SAD was slated to hold its second ‘Pol Khol’ rally at Faridkot on September 16 to “expose the Congress led conspirators who are trying their best to weaken Sikh institutions” as well as the Sikh community. The rally was meant to launch an offensive against the Congress government, which through the Ranjit Singh Commission report, has blamed Parkash Singh Badal of ordering the use of force on those protesting against the incidents of sacrilege at Kotkapura in October 2015.
“Autocracy can not be allowed in a democracy,” Sukhbir Singh Badal said while asserting that the SAD does not believe in violence. “Our priority is peace and tranquility in the state,” he said. Referring to the reports that Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal has rejected proposal of police to buy armoured vehicles for Badals security, both the father-son duo said they never sought security. The Badals described the Punjab government’s decision to ban the proposed rally “broad daylight murder of democracy” .
Parkash Singh Badal said it is “a brazen and cowardly abdication of constitutional responsibility by the state government whose primary duty is to ensure that no one is allowed to sabotage and disrupt peaceful expression of democratic aspirations of the people and to ensure and safeguard normal democratic activity in the state”. The government has virtually admitted on Friday that the constitutional machinery in Punjab has broken down so much that it cannot even ensure a peaceful democratic rally by a mainstream political party, he said. The decision of the government is reminiscent of the emergency days of repression and dictatorship, the former chief minister said.
He said it seems anti-national elements, who are the enemies of peace and communal harmony in the state, are hell bent upon disrupting the peace and communal harmony of the state. “These elements are setting the agenda for Amarinder Singh to follow and he is obliging them by obeying their diktat. This clearly proves collusion between the Congress and these elements are bent upon setting Punjab on fire again,” he said. Parkash and Sukhbir Singh Badal alleged the Congress government used “fake and fabricated report” of the “biased” Justice Ranjit Singh Commission to try and defame the SAD and its leadership.
“This government has virtually surrendered its will to govern and has virtually declared that it is incapable of ensuring peace and communal harmony in the state,” he said.