Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Monday reiterated his demand for raising a peace memorial in Punjab in honour of thousands of innocent people who died during militancy.
While addressing a press conference here, Bajwa said chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had been raising memorials, with the help of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in Amritsar and of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) in Delhi.
"First, Badal supported a Bluestar memorial at Harmandar Sahib in Amritsar and recently, a 1984 genocide memorial at Gurdwara Rakabganj in Delhi. I want to ask Badal why can't he help in raising a peace memorial in Punjab in memory of nearly 25,000 to 30,000 people who had died during terrorism in the state which lasted for nearly 15 years," said Bajwa, who was accompanied by Congress MLA Charanjit Singh Channi, former MLA Harminder Singh Jassi and Congress spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira.
Bajwa said Badal had already turned down the idea of raising the peace memorial saying it would disturb peace in the state.
"Badal should call an all-party meet at the earliest to take views of all political parties of Punjab on the issue of raising the peace memorial. How can a peace memorial built in memory of innocent people who died during terrorism disturb the peace of the state? asked Bajwa.
He said the BJP should also make its stand clear on the issue.
Bajwa criticised Badal for supporting Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. "Modi is communal and anti-minority. The Janata Dal (U) has already snapped ties with the NDA after Modi's elevation. The SAD and Shiv Sena are the only political parties which are still part of the NDA," said Bajwa.
Bajwa said Modi was spearheading his poll campaign from Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir from June 23. "There is a grand design behind the move to divide both the border states, which are predominantly inhabited by the minority communities, on communal lines. "Modi will vitiate the peace of these states with his divisive political agenda," said Bajwa.
Credit for freight corridor
Bajwa sought credit for the Kolkata-Amritsar freight corridor, announced by the union government. "I had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2010 and also raised the issue in Parliament. Though chief minister Parkash Singh Badal wants to take credit for this, he has not made any efforts towards this," Bajwa said while showing the copy of his parliament speech in this regard.
'No money coming for investment'
Bajwa challenged deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to show if any new investment was coming to Punjab after he unveiled the new industrial policy recently. "In fact, the existing industrial units are already shifting base to Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and even to Gujarat. I challenge Sukhbir to show me any new investment coming to Punjab on the basis of the new industrial policy," said Bajwa.