Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh on Friday condemned the “blackmail politics resorted to by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal” by his recent statement mentioning that the SAD-BJP alliance was in the interest of communal harmony in the state.
Referring to Badal’s recent statement, Amarinder said, “By saying so, do you mean to admit a long-established fact that both of you are communal, representing two communal organisations, and your being together is in the state’s interest?”
He told Badal, “Please come out of this misplaced impression that you are the sole representative of Sikhs as you are trying to convey and claim by such statements.”
He also asked the BJP to come clean on the issue saying such statements issued by both the parties had the potential of creating uncertainty in Punjab and threatening the hard-earned peace in the state. “The level of mutual mistrust you share has led to political uncertainty in the state and it is reflecting on whatever governance is left,” he told the SAD-BJP leaders.
The former chief minister expressed surprise over Badal’s “open threats to the BJP” that if it withdrew support to the SAD, there would be communal polarisation in Punjab. “Do you mean to say that if Akali Dal breaks up with the BJP there would be communal riots,” he asked Badal, adding that the latter must clarify as what he meant.
The Congress leader maintained that the people of Punjab had put behind the dark past. “As long as you are in power, you seem to be all right, but the moment you start feeling insecure about your position, you resort to such types of blackmail of threat to peace and communal harmony”, he told Badal, advising him to come out of the “sectarian and divisive mindset” lest it should push Punjab to a point of no return.
Amarinder asked Badal that instead of dropping subtle threats to the BJP to save his government, he should focus on the state’s progress and development. He pointed out that more people had died in the state due to the drug trafficking patronised by the government than those killed during terrorism. This is time to think and take action and not resort to political blackmail, he said.
Blames Badal for non-payment to farmers
Capt Amarinder Singh on Friday asked chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to own moral responsibility for his “failure in getting the farmers the payment for their paddy crop”.
Both the state and the Centre, he said in a statement here, must find a way out and not make the farmers suffer for no fault of theirs.
He said the entire blame for the denial of payment lay with the Badal-led state government as it had failed to furnish the accounts to qualify for further instalments for the smooth cash credit flow.
He said there was no payment made to farmers since October 22 and thousands of quintals of paddy had been procured without any payment.
“It is unprecedented that the farmers have been denied their due. Badal cannot shrug off his responsibility by putting the blame on the Centre, as the SAD is also part of the NDA government,” he said.
He said the union finance ministry was well within its right to ask for the accounts of Rs 42,000 crore that the Punjab government had failed to furnish. “This only reflects the financial mismanagement that has become so characteristic of the Akali government,” he observed, adding that the Akalis, especially Badal, were known to “misuse and divert funds”.