CHANDIGARH, November 21: Rejecting and rubbishing Sukhbir Badal’s charges that Congress was supporting the radical and anti-national forces, Congress Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh today said that he (Sukhbir) was simply trying to shift the blame for his own failures on the Congress.
“Instead of running away to Delhi and crying wolf there, why don’t you book us (Congress leaders) for sedition if you have proof that we are indulging in anti-national activities”, he dared the Deputy CM, while warning him against implicating innocent people who are expressing their resentment against his ministers.
“We in Congress do not need any lessons on patriotism and nationalism from someone like Sukhbir Badal, whose father and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal still takes pride in having burnt the copies of the Constitution of India during Khalistan movement”, he asserted.
Referring to the Sarbat Khalsa, the religious congregation of the Sikhs held at Amritsar, Capt Amarinder said, the presence of huge number of people there was an expression of anger against the Badal government and not to support Khalistan as being projected by Sukhbir Badal and Khalistan protagonist Simranjit Singh Mann together.
On Sukhbir’s claims that he had proof as how anti-national resolutions at the Sarbat Khalsa were prepared and passed, what was he doing as a the Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister of the State. “Does his responsibility finish at blaming the Congress?” he asked, while adding, he should better own the moral responsibility and resign.
Capt Amarinder said, Sukhbir is only betraying his frustration and congenital obsession of blaming Congress for their own wrongs. “It is natural for Sukhbir and his father to feel frustrated that when Rahul Gandhi is hailed and welcomed with open arms across Punjab while going on padyatra, the Badals cannot even dare to venture out lest people thrash them like their ministers”, he said in a statement released here today.
The former Punjab Chief Minister said, the Akalis including the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Deputy Chief Minister son Sukhbir Badal were unnerved over Congress popularity in the state and had now launched a malicious and slanderous campaign against the party and its leaders.
He pointed out, while Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was welcomed with open arms as he walked through the villages in Badals’ bastions, they (the Badals) and their ministers were scared to venture out. “So much so every day there are reports of Akali leaders, ministers and legislators being thrashed by people out of anger”, he said, while remarking, “their (Badals’) frustration is natural”. Only yesterday, he added, a minister Sikander Singh Malukha was slapped by an elderly angry farmer in his home town.
The senior Congress leader pointed out, only a week ago Sukhbir said that the ISI was behind all the trouble in Punjab. “And now all of a sudden he has woken up to the revelations that Congress was behind all this”, he taunted the Deputy CM, while making it categorically clear that Congress is a secular and nationalist party which has laid down several sacrifices to safeguard the unity and integrity of the country and will never hesitate in doing it again if the need be.
“Despite the fact that both Badal and Mann are trying to project the huge turnout of people at Sarbat Khalsa as pro-Khalistan, it was actually an expression of anger and outrage against Badal government and that is the reason Sukhbir is peeved and frustrated the most and is trying to blame the Congress”, he asserted.
Capt Amarinder said, the very fact that Simranjit Singh Mann was not allowed to speak at the Sarbat Khalsa, which Sukhbir claims to be an anti-national show, makes it clear beyond any doubt as what people wanted there. “Had it really been a pro-Khalistan congregation and not an anti-Badal show, why should a Khalistan proponent like Mann not be allowed to speak there?” he asked.
Referring to the presence of some Congress leaders at the Sarbat Khalsa, Capt Amarinder reiterated, it was a religious and not a political or anti-national congregation, as Sukhbir and Simranjit Singh Mann will try to make it out. So there was nothing wrong in anyone attending it as a Sikh. He said, it was not only the Congress leaders, but the leaders of other political parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party and Aam Aadmi Party also attended the congregation.
The Congress leader said, the matter of the fact is that it was during the Badal’s government between 1977 and 1979 that Punjab was pushed into turmoil and terrorism and now it is again under Badal’s government that Punjab is being threatened by the same forces. “Even then they used to blame Congress as they are trying to blame it on us again”, he said.