Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday took the sail out of the winds of the political vendetta charges the Punjab Congress have been levelling against the SAD-BJP ruling alliance by terming that most of these after the high level police investigation have either been found baseless or were apolitical in nature.
"Ever since the Congress party had accused me of indulging in political vendetta for registering fake cases against its party workers I have been feeling extremely sad and uneasy. You can accuse me of anything but not of stooping so low to settle political scores," said Badal on the floor of the house.
Badal had sought special time from speaker, Charanjit Singh Atwal, to make a detailed statement on the charges levelled by the Congress party for unleashing politics of vendetta against the Congress workers.
During his nearly 45 minute speech Badal said though the Congress party and its senior leaders, PPCC, president, Captain Amarinder Singh and CLP leader Sunil Jakhar often made noise about 20,000 fake police cases registered against the Congressmen but the party finally provided him a list of only 39 cases.
"I called up the Punjab DGP to get these thoroughly investigated who put a DIG under the supervision of IG crime to get the cases investigated. The final result has been quite amazing. The probe found out that while 24 cases were genuinely registered against the concerned persons, in 11 the police found out that the names of some people were unnecessarily dragged in, while only four cases have been found to be completely fake. I have already asked the police chief to immediately file a cancellation report in the four cases", revealed Badal before the house.
Though the Opposition benches appreciated Badal's effort to get the 39 cases investigated by taking personal interest but they said they were far from being satisfied as the police under pressure from the local level Akali leaders don't hesitate to book anyone who hold politically different views from the ruling alliance.
"The chief minister himself may not be indulging in political vendetta but the Akali leaders specifically those who have lost to the Congress candidates and have now been appointed as Halqa Jathedars (Area in charge of SAD) who are using police as a tool at the lower level to settle political scores. There is an urgent need to have a state and district level grievances redressal committees to look into such cases", said CLP leader, Sunil Jakhar in response to Badal's detailed reply.
Badal went on to read the details of several such cases in which he said there was no political vendetta found and cases were registered against individuals for their own petty interests.
Giving an instance Badal said during the assembly polls in January, education minister Sikander Singh Maluka's son was surrounded by Congress candidate Gurpreet Singh Kangar's supporters. They wanted to plant money on him to get a case registered against him when the model code of conduct was still in force. However later the Election Commission of India found nothing wrong with Maluka's son and no money or arms were found from his possession.
In another case Badal said Congress MLA Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi and his political opponent got cross cases registered against each other during the assembly polls. "I have asked the DGP to make a telephone call to personally cancel the case", said Badal.
Badal also gave instances of several cases which he said were personal in nature and there is no political vendetta involved in them.
Pointing towards the opposition benches Badal said in fact the Congress has been indulging in political vendetta when the party was in power under the leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh.
"You did not spare my wife and registered a case against her. You registered cases against all senior Akali leaders and even went to the extent of booking their family members in fake cases. You tell me if our government has registered even a single case against any of the Congress MLAs", asked Badal from the Opposition benches who were listening to him with pin drop silence.
Badal also accused the Congress for using foul language against the Akalis. "I can understand there could a difference of political opinion or ideology but there should be nothing personal against each other. I have told my own colleagues sitting on the treasury benches that if they indulge in vendetta politics I will not support them. For this they may even get angry with me", said Badal.