Union minister for home affairs Rajnath Singh on Friday asked the Punjab government to make fight against drugs a people’s movement. He was addressing a congregation here to mark the 350th year of setting up of Anandpur Sahib by ninth Guru Tegh Bahadur.
He also called upon the states neighbouring Punjab to uproot drug from their states. Tactfully, he gave on commitment to the Punjab government but kept the issue of drugs alive because of which the image of the Punjab government had suffered adversely.
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Terming Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) an alliance party of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Punjab government and a constituency of national democratic alliance (NDA) as “non-communal party”, Singh praised Akalis but remained non-committal in making any announcement for the state, as was expected by the state functionaries. He said the Gurus and the Khalsa Panth have laid lives in saving country’s culture and heritage.
Before Singh began his speech, a group of Sikhs raised “Rajnath Go back” slogans and demanded release of Sikh detainee lodged in different jails.
BIP national president Amit Shah also praised Sikhs and retraced their history as martyrs. Notably both the leaders didn’t at all talk about the SAD-BJP coalition. It is being much talked that BJP may break alliance with SAD before the 2017 assembly polls in the state.
Like the top BJP leadership, Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal also maintained the stand of not raising any demand from the central leaders, but SAD leadership including Anandpur Sahib MP Prem Singh Chandumajra, MP from Tarn Taran Ranjit Singh Brahmapura and other second rung Akali leaders asked the Centre to pay attention towards Punjab which has fought for the nation on all fronts.
Demanding that sacrifices by Sikh Gurus be included in the school curriculum in entire country, radical leader Harnam Singh Dhumma of Damdami Taksal askd the Centre to fulfill all promises related to Punjab and Sikhs which were made by the BJP before coming to power. President of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) Manjit Singh GK called upon the Centre to resolve the issue of Gurdwars of Pakistan and properties attached with them.
‘Seeking our rights’
Earlier, Punjab deputy CM and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal announced that nobody was able to suppress Akalis despite attempts made from time to time. “We are not begging but seeking our right, problems faced by Punjabis must be addressed,” he said, adding that justice has been denied to Sikhs referring to 1984 anti Sikh riots.
Joint committee to resolve issues
Haryana CM Manohan Lal Khattar suggested for making joint committees to resolve all the interstate issues concerning Punjab and Haryana.