Accusing the Congress of conspiring to disturb peace in Punjab, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday claimed that the radical Sarbat Khalsa was a “well-planned” ploy of the party to discredit the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
Addressing a gathering at Gurdwara Nankiana Sahib here, Sukhbir said, “The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has got vital clues into the sacrilege cases and its report will be out in four months.”
He claimed that Congress leaders had provided transportation to people reaching the radical Sarbat Khalsa. Taking a dig at the ‘appointments’ made at the November 10 event, he said, “The opposition-backed radical Sarbat Khalsa seems to have appointed the so-called jathedars based on a seniority list drawn up on the basis of the number of FIRs registered against them. Jagtar Singh Hawara, who faces cases of serious criminal nature, has been given the highest seat at the Akal Takht. Such moves are anti-Sikh.”
He claimed that the SAD would gather five times the number of people who attended the radical Sarbat Khalsa at its Sadbhawna rallies, beginning November 23. “I invite and want all residents of the state to attend the SAD’s Moga rally on November 28,” Sukhbir said, adding that Congress leaders Capt Amarinder Singh and Partap Singh Bajwa were concerned with only short-term political gains rather than the state’s welfare.
Sukhbir claimed that people of Punjab had made up their mind that the SAD would form the next government in the state. He said the state government would give Rs 30 crore to each assembly constituency in 2016 for development of villages.
Meanwhile, police arrested around 50 men who were raising slogans of ‘Sukhbir go back’ and had gathered near the stage. Two men even managed to climb up the stage.
“The opposition-backed radical Sarbat Khalsa seems to have appointed the so-called jathedars based on a seniority list drawn up on the basis of the number of FIRs registered against them,” Sukhbir Singh Badal said.
Hardliners to face action if they disturb SAD rallies: Sukhbir
Sukhbir Badal also said hardliners would face strict action if they tried to disturb rallies of the Shiromani Akali Dal.
Sukhbir said, “Hardliners will be dealt with strictly if they try to show black flags to Akali leaders. Who are these hardliners to disturb our Bathinda, Moga and Gurdaspur rallies as well as other development programmes? They will have to face strict action.”
He accused former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh and state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa of helping foreign agencies disturb peace in Punjab through Sikh hardliners. He said, “German and Pakistani agencies were behind the so-called Sarbat Khalsa and both Amarinder and Bajwa had helped these agencies.”
The deputy CM announced that the state government would provide 1.2 lakh jobs to the youth in the coming months.
Police wary of black flags
Fearing that some people might be carrying black flags, police got cautious and asked all Akali workers to show their belongings, including identity cards and handkerchiefs, and ensured that they did not have black flags while entering the venue. Many sarpanches and their supporters could be seen arguing with the police.