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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, October 09, 2012
Punjab cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia on Monday said he was deeply pained over the "ill-informed, ill-conceived and most unfortunate" statement of union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde about the peace memorial for the 1984 tragedy (Operation Bluestar) in the holiest of holy shrines, Harmandar Sahib.

This statement has clearly been issued without studying details of the monument project and it is clear that Shinde has not been properly briefed or informed, Majithia said in a statement here on Monday evening.

"The Congress is raising a hue and cry over a purely religious issue of the peace monument only to divert the people's attention from the mind-boggling scams that have hit the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). Now that the flames of scams have reached the 'royal palace' of the Gandhis through exposure of scams of Robert Vadra, the Congress' desperation has crossed all limits and it has been driven into this mindless opposition of a spiritual monument. Their statements are shocking for their lack of sensitivity towards religious sentiments of the Sikh community," said Majithia.

Majithia said Punjab today was led by a visionary statesman like Parkash Singh Badal who had made supreme sacrifices and spent 15 years in jails in free India, fighting for peace, human dignity and human rights, and who considered communal harmony as his (Badal's) greatest achievement in life.

Majithia dared Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh to clarify his stand on the army assault in 1984. "If he thinks building a peace monument against Operation Bluestar is wrong, then why had he enacted the drama of resigning from the Congress in protest against this very operation?" the Akali leader asked.

Amarinder should also clarify his stand on the innocents killed in 1984, said Majithia.

He added that it was surprising and unbelievable that the union home minister and the PPCC president were both opposing a monument which would symbolise the message of peace, communal harmony and human brotherhood as enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib, transcending narrow communal, sectarian or ideological and political differences. "By doing so, the Congress is in fact opposing the ideals enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib," he claimed.