Sensing the sentiments of the people in the Sikh-dominated Punjab with regard to a series of desecrations of Guru Granth Sahib since 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured to get the crimes probed by the CBI. He was addressing an election rally at Anaj Mandi in Kotkapura in Faridkot district on Sunday. The issue was raised by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal and his MP wife Harsimrat Kaur.
The rally was held just a kilometre away from the spot where the Sikh protesters had clashed with the police in October 2015. The clashes that had left two youths dead were triggered after the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargadi in Faridkot district.
The sacrilege and deaths in police firing have become major poll issues in Faridkot and other adjoining constituencies with both AAP and Congress trying to target the SAD over the issue. Modi rubbished the claims of the AAP that the incidents were a handiwork of the SAD.
The PM was all praise for chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. “He (Badal ) is the living legend who stood up and fought for the interests of farmers throughout his life,” Modi said.
“Punjab a border state. Pakistan always looks for opportunities to destabilise Punjab. If a weak government or a government of outsiders or a government of those indulging in luxuries comes, this will be bad for Punjab and the country,” Modi said.
Launching an offensive against the AAP, calling it an “outsider” that is “dreaming of creating its own world” at the cost of Punjab, Modi said it was only the Badal regime that could maintain “peace and development” in the state with the BJP-led coalition government at the Centre.
The PM also compared Badal with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying they are “men of high stature and words”. “Vajpayee ji and Badal sahib have been the politicians of high stature who understood the sanctity of democracy,” Modi said.
Claiming that Badal regime in Punjab ensured “peace and development”, he listed several schemes in sectors like irrigation, food processing and organic farming for the farmers.
Modi an unmatched PM: Badal
Chief minister Badal said Modi was an unmatched prime minister, a true statesman, who valued and respected Sikhism.
“It is only the Akali-BJP coalition that could maintain communal harmony and peace in Punjab,” Badal said, adding that the Congress’ past vis a vis Sikhism was tainted and the AAP will be no different.
Earlier, Sukhbir and Harsimrat dubbed the AAP a party of outsiders who wanted “ to disturb the peace in Punjab”.