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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Talks between Akalis and Centre one-sided: Buta

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Amritsar, July 13, 2012
First Published: 10:10 IST(13/7/2012) | Last Updated: 10:18 IST(13/7/2012)

Reacting to the reference to his being party to the talks between Akalis and the Centre to solve the Punjab issue in 1980s made by veteran journalist Kuldeep Nayar in his book 'Beyond the Lines', former home minister and Bihar Governor Buta Singh on Thursday said he was part of one of the many talks between Akalis and the Central leaders, but the Akalis having reached the consensus ditched the Centre.
 
In Amritsar on Thursday to address a meeting of workers of the Bharat Ekta Andolan in his capacity as its president, Singh said, "I do not wish to indulge in any discussion, but I agree the talks were one-sided."
  
When asked about Time magazine calling the Prime Minister an underachiever, Singh blamed rival parties for it. "Our rival parties like the BJP are responsible for the report; Time magazine only printed it," he said.
  
Since Singh was the union minister for housing after Operation Bluestar, he was responsible for the re-construction of the Akal Takht. "At that time, it (re-construction of the Akal Takht) was my duty and I was just following the cabinet's decision. However, the entire Sikh leadership was against the decision and I had to pay the price for performing my duty to the government and the Panth," he said.
   
He refused to comment on the move to construct the Bluestar memorial saying since it was the decision of a religious body and the memorial was being constructed inside the Harmandar Sahib complex, he would not comment.
    
Talking about the Congress' performance in the recent assembly elections, Singh said Rahul Gandhi was not responsible for the defeat and that he was a significant member of the party.

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When asked about Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh's role in the party's defeat, Singh said, "I don't blame anybody, but being the state party president, he automatically becomes responsible."

He said the reason the Congress had to face defeat in the elections was that it had deviated from its basic principles. "If a party deviates from its principles, then the victory becomes difficult," he added.

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