Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday asked law minister Kapil Sibal to extend complete legal support to Sikh farmers who are facing eviction from their land in Kutch area of Gujarat.
The direction came after a delegation of Congress MPs from Punjab and Haryana, led by Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa, met him in his office in Parliament House.
The Gujarat government has reportedly ordered the 500-member Sikh community in Kutch to sell their land and return to Punjab because they were not Gujaratis, citing the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act 1948.
The delegation informed the PM that the Gujarat high court had earlier dismissed the orders of the state government which later filed a special leave petition in the apex court.
The Supreme Court will now hear the matter on August 27.
According to a statement by the Punjab Congress, the Prime Minister also assured the delegation that the case would be contested by best lawyers. The delegation also met Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Bajwa later lashed out at Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi for “misleading” the people on the issue. “Badal and Modi have teamed up to cover up their blunders,” he said.
“The model of governance and development presented by Badal and Modi has flopped. They are surviving on PR exercise. While Modi is busy projecting himself as prime ministerial candidate, Badal’s only interest is to promote his son and family business,” Bajwa said.
He also claimed that the Gujarat Sikhs had approached Badal in 2010 but he never raised the issue with Modi during the past three years.