CHANDIGARH, January 27: Congress today decided to boycott the Khadoor Sahab bye-election necessitated after the sacrilege of the Holy Guru Granth Sahib at Bargadi in Kotkpaura, due to which the party MLA Ramanjit Singh Sikki resigned in protest.
Talking to reporters at the ‘Meet the Press’ programme hosted by the Chandigarh Press Club here today, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Capt Amarinder Singh said, “since the basic issue of the sacrilege of the Holy Guru Granth Sahib, for which Sikki resigned, still remains unresolved, the Congress party decided there was no point in contesting the election”.
Capt Amarinder was accompanied by the AICC Secretary Incharge Harish Chaudhary, senior leaders Laal Singh, Rana Gurjeet Singh, Hardayal Kambhoj and others.
The function was presided over by Balwinder Jammur, president Chandigarh Press Club and conducted by Nalin Acharya, the secretary general of the club.
The PCC president reiterated that it was the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who had first directed the sacrilege of the Holy Guru Granth Sahab in a bid at “controlled destabilisation” to divert the public attention from his failures and subsequently ordered the firing on peaceful protestors which left two persons dead and about 40 injured.
“Not a single person has been identified, leave aside punishing them for the sacrilege nor has any action been taken against the guilty police officials responsible for firing and killing of peaceful protestors”, he pointed out, adding, under these circumstances there was no point in seeking re-election.
The former Chief Minister maintained that the matter must be probed by a judicial commission headed by a sitting judge of the High Court. He said, as Badal was unlikely to do that since he knows the buck will stop at him, the Congress after it forms the government will set up the commission headed by a sitting judge to probe the sacrilege and punish the guilty.
Justifying the boycott, Capt Amarinder said, Sikki resigned for the desecration of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib and the firing at village Bargari in which 2 people were killed, 2 were shot through the spine paralyzing them, one old man having half his hand blown off and one man who was saved because a bullet grazed his forehead. The total number of causalities were 2 dead and 38 injured, he said, adding, Mr Badal announced a commission to go into the desecration of Shri Guru Granth Sahib which was constituted about 3 months ago, the commission has not yet even met and therefore no progress has been made in identifying those responsible.
He pointed out, no investigation is going on into the unprovoked and uncontrolled firing that took place at Bargari on a group of people who were blocking the road and reciting kirtan.
Capt Amarider said, he received a letter from Sikki repeating what has been mentioned earlier and also adding that he had no confidence in the Speaker of the State Assembly who had not bothered to listen to him. He therefore felt that his conscience did not allow him to fight this bye election.
The President PCC said, he agreed with Sikki as he also felt that the desecration of Shri Guru Granth Sahib was an issue which far outweighed politics. “And therefore, I recommended to the Congress President that the Congress party should boycott the Khadoor Sahib Bye Election”, he said.
He said, though the Congress President cleared the name of Sikki, however in view of the grave situation that has engulfed the Sikh community in Punjab because of the sacrilege, she left it to the PCC President to take the final call.
The PCC President said, therefore in view of grave sacrilege of desecration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, which is widely believed in Punjab to have the stamp of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who had this despicable act done through his agencies, the party has decided to boycott this bye-election.