As the Election Commission of India (ECI) is closely following the case of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s speech during the Hola-Mohalla celebrations on March 16, a reply sent by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to the ECI has said the participation of Badal and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal on the occasion was like thousands of other devotees. There is no question of any political speech or poll-related issue being discussed, it added.
It needs a mention here that the ECI has banned political activity during the Hola-Mohalla celebrations and during his restrained speech Badal can’t stop himself from comparing the ban to the days of the Emergency in 1975.
Reportedly, the ECI has not taken the criticism lightly and has asked for video recording of Badal’s speech. It is expected to give its view next week.
Interestingly, SAD’s reply has an indirect reference to Badal’s remarks comparing the situation to the Emergency. It said, “The narration of some historical facts by the devotee, Sardar Parkash Singh Badal, can’t possibly be assumed, termed or interpreted as something, even close to a political activity in nature.
Moreover, the SAD has also not defied or violated any of direction of the ECI,” said the reply referring to the Emergency.