The Congress deputy leader in Lok Sabha, Captain Amarinder Singh, on Sunday stated here that both the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), ruling partners in Punjab, should stop "playing mind games with people" on the drug menace issue and breakup if they had differences.
"If you (SAD-BJP) are not comfortable with each other, you better call it a day, but stop trying to fool the people," he told the two parties. Reacting to the SAD's calling for a "dharna" against the Border Security Force (BSF) over drug smuggling from across the border, Amarinder said: "Whom are they trying to fool. They are very much part of the central government that controls the BSF. The people who are in power and in a position to act do not look good holding dharnas. If they can't act, they better quit."
This Akali 'dharna' was aimed at pre-empting the anti-drug rally that BJP president Amit Shah was going to hold in Amritsar on January 12, he stated. Taking a dig at chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for his opposing religious conversions now, he said Badal had begun to feel the heat from the BJP. "When the Congress raised the issue, the Akalis maintained an acquiescing silence, and now Badal has woken up to the threat of forced conversions for obvious reasons," he remarked.
MLA questions SAD on synthetic drugs
In a separate statement issued here, senior Congress legislator Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa reminded deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal that Punjab's youth today were being ruined more by the synthetic drugs that were produced locally.
"Sukhbir's saying that drugs are coming from across the border, for which the Centre is to blame, is intended to divert the attention from facts," said Randhawa said, adding that the local drug manufacturing network now had been exposed after manufacturing facilities had come to light in SAS Nagar and near Samrala. "If the central government is not listening to him," said Randahwa, "Sukhbir should to ask his wife and lone Akali Union minister, Harsimart Kaur Badal, as well as Punjab ministers from the BJP quota to resign."
Congress leader Rana Gurjit also said the two ruling parties should make it clear whether or not they were still in alliance.
SAD out to demoralise forces, says Bajwa, asks Modi to act
Chandigarh: Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Sunday ridiculed the Akali move for "dharnas" on the frontier to pressurise the Border Security Force (BSF) to stop drug smuggling into Punjab and said what they were trying to do was "anti-national".
In a statement issued here, he asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to dismiss the Akali-BJP coalition government in the state in interest of national security. "Anyway, both allies are now confronting each other on the drugs issue," he said. Bajwa further said the dharnas would demoralise the armed and paramilitary forces that did their duty diligently, while the government ignored the fact the synthetic drugs were manufactured locally.
"The SAD and the BJP are strange bedfellows. They fight with each other and yet choose to remain together for the sole objective of looting people. They curse each other by the day and sleep under the same quilt at night," he added.