New Delhi – Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today accused Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi of fomenting trouble in Punjab and encouraging secessionist forces against the wishes of the patriotic Sikh community which did not want the State to go back to the dark days of terror.
Addressing a press conference at the Press Club here, Mr Badal also laid bare the Congress conspiracy to destabilize peace in Punjab by providing overt and covert support to the organizers of the November 10 function of politically discarded, frustrated and desperate elements who were totally alienated from Punjabis in general and Sikhs in particular. He said these elements tried to mislead the patriotic Sikh masses who had been deeply hurt by the series of incidents of sacrilege of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. He said the Congress helped to plan the gathering, provided logistic support and also part of the team which drafted the secessionist resolutions which were read out on the occasion.
“All this happened at the behest of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi”, he said adding the Congress leaders’ recent visit to Punjab had led to the chain of events which witnessed the Congress playing dangerous games in the sensitive border State. “We are bringing this to the notice of Home minister Rajnath Singh ji”, he added.
The SAD president also produced photographs and other material to prove the Congress involvement in the extremist show. This included pictures of senior Congress leaders including Ramanjit Singh Sikki and Inderjit Singh Zira. He said similarly there were audio clips of senior Congress leaders talking with the organizers of the radical conference and proffering advice on the resolutions which should be adopted on the occasion.
The SAD president said the Punjab Congress had tried to deny its involvement in the extremist show but the cat was let out of the bag by SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann who said the Congress party leaders present on the occasion knew they were sharing a Khalistani stage. He said the demand for Khalistan was openly made from the stage including presence of “Khalistan” flags. He said besides these messages of terrorists including banned organization- were also read out from the stage. “What is the Congress trying to do? Does it want to push Punjab back into an era of darkness? What other reason can there be for a national party to take actions which amount to destabilizing the unity and integrity of the country?”
Stating that there was a reason behind the recent acts of sacrilege as well as the congregation called by radical elements, the SAD president said the truth was that the Congress had taken this desperate step as it knew that its graph was at an all time low and that the SAD-BJP government was set to unleash a massive development agenda. “The Congress formed a mahagathbandhan with extremist forces with the sole aim of derailing the development agenda as well as petty concerns of reviving itself politically through hook or by crook”.
The SAD president also detailed the Congress role in Punjab during the eighties when it unleashed extremist forces in the State in order to fight the SAD. He said this strategy between competing leaders played havoc with the loss of 50,000 lives. “Unfortunately the same card is being played now”, he said adding such a tactic would not only destabilize Punjab but also derail the economic growth of the country.
Mr Badal said Pakistan’s ISI was always on the look out to damage Punjab and through it target other parts of the country. “I am shocked that a leader like Rahul Gandhi has also played into the hands of extremist forces hell bent on destroying Punjab and India. The Congress should stop aligning with extremist organizations just for political gains”, the SAD president said.
The akali leader also made it clear that the SAD-BJP government would stand like a rock to maintain the unity and integrity of the country. “We brought Punjab back from the brink and will not allow anyone to disturb its hard won peace and communal harmony”, he added.