The Congress has pitched in its cadres from Punjab to counter the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) canvassing in the Sikh-populated pockets for the December 4 assembly elections in Delhi.
Punjab Congress spokesman Sukhpal Khaira, MLAs Kuljit Nagra, Charanjit Singh Channi, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Gurkirat Kotli and Randeep Singh besides a few former MLAs criss-crossed Rajouri Garden, Hari Nagar, Greater Kailash and Shahdara areas where the SAD has fielded its candidates against the Congress.
Khaira addressed a rally at Tilak Nagar, urging Sikh voters not to fall prey to the "religious blackmail by the Akali Dal, known for raising the 1984 riots issue merely for vote bank politics".
He said there was no doubt that the 1984 riots had left a deep impact on the Sikh psyche, but he wondered as to what the SAD had done for the affected families while it shared power in the NDA government from 1999 to 2004 when Sukhbir Badal was a union minister in the Vajpayee government.
He said Parkash Singh Badal who headed the Akali governments in Punjab had failed to rehabilitate the affected Sikh families who migrated to Punjab.
Khaira said the Sikh Danga Peerat Society was running from pillar to post and had even approached the Punjab and Haryana high court to claim their residential and commercial premises in Mohali, Ludhiana and Amritsar.
He said the SAD had failed to keep its promise of providing employment to the Sikh migrant families. Similarly, the SAD-BJP government had also failed to distribute the Rs. 2-lakh each red-card grant to the victims, though the UPA government had allocated Rs. 725-crore grant to the victims, he added.
Bajwa appointed star campaigner for Delhi polls
The All India Congress Committee (AICC) has appointed Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa as star campaigner for the Delhi assembly elections. A communique by AICC general secretary Shakeel Ahmed to Bajwa said his name had been submitted to the Election Commission and he should keep himself available for the election meetings. The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, in a separate communication, also requested Bajwa to address election meetings in Delhi, a statement by the Punjab Congress Committee said on Monday.