Bajwa asks Badal to return ‘Panth Rattan’ award, resign

  • Bahadurjeet Singh, Hindustan Times, Anandpur Sahib
  • Updated: Oct 23, 2015 21:01 IST

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Partap Singh Bajwa on Friday asked chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to return title of ‘Panth Ratan Fakhr-e-Qaum’ bestowed upon him by the Akal Takht.

While talking to mediapersons at Anandpur Sahib after offering prayers at Takht Keshgarh Sahib for peace in the state, Bajwa said Badal was responsible for the current turmoil in the state and wasn’t worthy of holding title of Panth Ratan.

“The entire Punjabi community wants Badal to return this title. Keeping in view the wishes of the people, he should immediately write to the Akal Takht jathedar stating that he is not worthy of holding such a title as he has failed to ensure justice to Sikhs,” Bajwa said.

Accusing Badal of interfering in the functioning of a religious institution, Bajwa said that the time had come for the Sikh community to take a firm decision to stop such interference so that these institutions could work for the betterment of religion, spread the message of gurus and give direction to the community.

Bajwa demanded that a time-bound enquiry by a sitting Supreme Court judge should be conducted into the incidents of sacrilege and firing on peaceful Sikh protestors at Behbal Kalan in Faridkot district that resulted in death of two persons. The government must tell the people who gave the firing orders.

Bajwa said in the wake of doubts being raised by villagers and panchayats about the involvement of two baptised youth in the Bargari sacrilege case, there was a need for an independent probe to ascertain the truth and unravel the names of real culprits behind the incidents of desecration.

Bajwa said the state was reeling under unrest and people had lost faith in both chief minister and Shiromani Gurdwara Management Committee president Avtar Singh Makkar. “The two must resign from their posts immediately,” he said.

Reacting sharply to the statement of Anandpur Sahib MP Prem Singh Chandumajra that the Congress was behind the present turmoil of the state, Bajwa said the Congress was a responsible party and always stood for unity and integrity of the country .The party had sacrificed many of its senior leaders for ensuring peace in the state, added Bajwa.

The fact is that Chandumajra ’s party (the SAD) was the alliance partner of the BJP, which was proving to be a danger for the minorities of the country, said Bajwa.

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