Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Manish Tewari on Sunday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has no right to claim that it is representing or safeguarding the interests of Hindus in Punjab.
“A common Hindu in Punjab feels that the BJP in Punjab has been reduced to the status of minority morcha of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) without any say or status in the government,” Tewari said while addressing a conference on the ‘political future of Hindus in Punjab’ organised by the Hindu Jagrati Maha Sabha, Punjab, at the Red Cross Bhawan here on Sunday.
The former minister maintained that Punjab was the land of rishis and gurus and had evolved a strong socially equitable system in the state. He said, however, there was a feeling among a large section of the Hindus that they were not being adequately represented in the political system of the state. He said, now was the time to ensure that the social and economic equitability was extended to the political system so that no section felt ignored and left out.
He said while the Congress has always maintained a strong secular character and has been accommodative in addressing the aspirations of all sections of the society, the BJP has only exploited the emotions and sentiments of the Hindus in Punjab.
“As a result, there is virtually no development in the urban areas and trade and industry has been left out to their own fate by the Akali-BJP government,” he observed, while adding that the state BJP leadership has been content with gaining and getting small favours here and there.
He said the purpose of holding today’s seminar was to create awareness among the community and warn them against being exploited by the vested interests in the name of religion. He said, similar seminars will be held all over Punjab at the district headquarters in the coming three months. He pointed out, Hindus were integral to the socio-economic system of Punjab and they were concerned that the state should not move from chaos to anarchy.
Spiritual guru, Acharya Pramod Krishnam, president, Bharatiya Sant Samiti, lashed out at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for first exploiting the sentiments of the Hindus and then letting them down. He said it was time to expose the ‘double face’ of the BJP and its Prime Minister, as they have only misled and exploited people’s emotions and sentiments.