Even after 18 years of the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, his memorial here is incomplete. Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Saturday asked CM Parkash Singh Badal to release money for its completion.
Speaking on the 18th death anniversary of Beant Singh, he said the party would observe August 31 as national integration day every year by holding a state-level function at the memorial in Chandigarh. He regretted that Badal had not released the state's share of funds for the construction of the commemorative strurcture.
He sought Rs 6 crore for the memorial's completion. "The state government bought a helicopter for Rs 36 crore, an aircraft for Rs 70 crore and two bulletproof BMW cars for Rs 7 crore each. Is this not duty of state government to honour and respect a CM who sacrificed his life for the people?" said Bajwa.
Bajwa remembered more than 20,000 people of Punjab who had been killed by terrorists during a decade-long insurgency and asked for a "peace memorial" dedicated to them. "Akali leaders had gone into hiding to escape the terrorists' bullets, and at that time, the Congress leaders and workers had fought to save Punjab," he said, adding that deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had then moved to the US.
"Beant Singh fought fundamentalists and separatists to secure peace for Punjab but the Congress is still fighting the communal alliance of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to secure the honour of Punjab," he said.