Admitting that there might be mismanagement on the part of the state government that led to the situation in the state reaching a flash point recently, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday said he was ready to apologise in case they had made a mistake.
The chief minister was talking to the media after observing the centenary of the death anniversary of martyr Kartar Singh Sarabha at Sarabha village, 25 km from Ludhiana.
Lashing out at the radicals and Congress for disturbing peace in the state, Badal said the government would not allow them to succeed. Stopping short of naming the Congress, Badal said, “There are a few people and agencies that want to disturb peace in Punjab. A particular political party has the history of disturbing peace in the state, but we will not allow that.”
When asked as to why they had not called an all-party meeting on the current unrest, Badal said, “One party is involved in disturbing peace in the state. Terrorism was also the creation of this particular party.”
Questioning the propriety of the radical Sarbat Khalsa, Badal said the democratically elected Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) is the best example of Sarbat Khalsa.
Speaking on the arrest of SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann and others, Badal said they wanted to maintain peace at any cost and whoever tried to disturb it would be arrested. “Some people are trying to capture the SGPC and Akal Takht. We used to take pride in saying that there was peace in Punjab, but it has been shattered; only government and police are not enough to quell disturbances,” Badal said.
Pays tribute to Sarabha
Earlier, the chief minister visited Sarabha’s house at his native village and paid tributes to the martyr. Addressing the gathering, Badal said 80% of sacrifices made in the freedom struggle were by Punjabis. “It would be a real tribute to Sarabha and the Ghadar party if we maintain peace and harmony in the state,” he said, adding that he would declare November 16 as a gazetted holiday in the state every year in honour of the martyr.
Badal also announced a grant of Rs 2 crore for the village. “I have great regard for this constituency as I once contested from here and won. I announce Rs 1 crore for the development of Sarabha village and another Rs 1 crore for a stadium,” he added.
The chief minister said he would soon address several sadbhawna rallies across the state starting with Bathinda on November 23, followed by sangat darshan as he had not been holding the programme of late owing to health reasons.