Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa on Saturday accused the ruling Akali Dal of turning jails into "training centres" for criminals who could be used for "threatening and eliminating" its political opponents in the 2017 Assembly polls.
He charged deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and state police with giving protection to "criminals and goonda
However, ruling SAD rubbished the allegations, saying it does not behove a leader of a responsible party to make such
SAD accused the Congress of making "baseless" statements, intended to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the state.
Bajwa cited recent incidents including firing on a bus belonging to a senior Congress MLA Ashwani Sekhri in Batala, Bathinda jail firing and attack on Shiv Sena leader Harvinder Soni in Gurdaspur to allege "failure" of the police to maintain law and order in the state.
Referring to the Bathinda jail firing in which two inmates were injured on April 16, Bajwa sought resignation of Sukhbir Badal and jail minister Sohan Singh Thandal.
When contacted SAD general secretary and spokesman Prem Singh Chandumajra dubbed Bajwa's statements against SAD and Sukhbir Badal as "irresponsible", saying SAD never indulged in such politics.
"People of Punjab want peace and development. But Congress is making irresponsible statements deliberately to disturb peace and tranquillity in the state," he said, adding that it has always been the intention of the opposition party to tarnish the image of Punjab by making baseless statements.
The Lok Sabha MP from Anandpur Sahib said, "Such statements indicate that Congress party is preparing grounds for its defeat in 2017 Assembly polls."