The Congress has urged Punjabis, especially Sikhs, to boycott BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's Jagraon rally on December 21 in view of his displacing thousands of Sikh farmers from Gujarat.
"It is a matter of shame for the Shiromani Akali Dal, which claims to be the champion of Sikh rights, to invite Modi and honour him in Punjab at a time when he is pushing out 50,000 Sikh farmers from Gujarat. It is a matter of shame that Badal bestowed the title of 'Sardar' on a fascist, communal and anti-Sikh leader," Congress spokesman Sukhpal Khaira said here on Sunday.
He said the Gujarat government headed by Modi was in the process of forcible eviction of thousands of Sikh Punjabi farmers settled in the Kutch region of Gujarat for the past 50 years. On the contrary, Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda restored the lands of Sikhs in Pehowa and Kurukshetra despite them having lost the case in the Supreme Court, by amending the Punjab Village Common Lands Act in the assembly, Khaira said.
He said it had come to light that many Sikh prisoners were languishing in Gujarat jails despite their having completed their terms, so the Congress sought their early release.
Khaira wondered as to what prevented Modi from withdrawing the case against Sikh farmers in the Supreme Court or amending the obsolete land Act in the assembly. "Modi is a communal, anti-minority and a fascist leader. He wants to victimise minorities to appease the majority for cheap electoral gains," Khaira said.
Looking for ways to stop Modi: Bajwa
Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Sunday said the Congress was looking for ways to stop Modi from reaching Jagraon. "We will not let him address the rally on December 21," Bajwa said, adding that Modi had no right to address Punjabis when he was making them suffer in his state.