Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday said that peace and communal harmony in the state is "not only the top priority but the most sacred mission" for the SAD-BJP government. "Peace and communal harmony in Punjab is a matter of sacred faith for me and I am committed to defending it with my life," Badal struck a strong emotional note while speaking on the floor of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha during the budget session.
"We are fully alive to our constitutional and moral obligation in this regard and we are here to fulfill that. No one will be allowed to threaten these sacred goals," said Badal.
The chief minister said that he considered the restoration of peace and communal harmony in Punjab as his greatest achievement. "Its preservation in future also is my most cherished goal and mission," he said.
Speaking about controversy created by the Congress over a religious monument at Harmandar Sahib to commemorate Operation Bluestar in June 1984, he said that the Congress objections were "highly ill-advised and totally avoidable".
"With this act, the party is trying to disturb the hard-earned atmosphere of peace and communal harmony in the state," he said.
Talking about the monument, Badal said that the matter was considered by eminent scholars and thinkers and their decision was that the monument should be a gurdwara within the precincts of the Harmandar Sahib.
The chief minister quoted eminent national figures like former prime minister Chandrashekhar, senior leaders George Fernandes and Madhu Dandvate to highlight the tragic short-sightedness in the decision to mount an army assault on Harmandar Sahib and said that this exceedingly painful event not only left deep wounds on the psyche of the Sikh masses but also outraged all right thinking people all over the country and the world, he added.