Less than a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced compensation of `5 lakh each to the kin of the 1984 Sikh riots victims, former Punjab chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal has asked the Prime Minister to compensate families of victims of 2002 riots in Gujarat also. The riots took place when Modi was chief minister of the state.
"We welcome the Prime Minister's decision to compensate the 1984 riots victims, but the PM should also show a kind heart by compensating the 2002 riots victims of his own state of Gujarat," said the veteran Congress leader, while talking to Hindustan Times.
She said, "As former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh had worked to bring his native state of Punjab under the loan waiver, now it is the responsibility of Modi to compensate riots victims in his own state."
She, however, denied internal bickering within the Punjab unit of the Congress, saying, "You cannot rule out differences of opinion even in a family, being a big and old party of the country, there might be some differences of opinion among our leaders, I don't think that this will have bad any impact on the future of the party as we stand united."
"Our senior leader Captain Amarinder Singh had also recently announced that the Punjab Congress is united and all leaders of the party will follow the constitution of the party," she added.
When asked whether BJP's historic win in the neighbouring Haryana may affect Congress' poll prospects in the upcoming civic body polls in Punjab, Bhattal said, "I don't think so. In Punjab, BJP is an alliance partner of the SAD. Both SAD and BJP will face public ire for their anti-people policies."
"Even the Modi wave could not enter Punjab during the Lok Sabha elections. I don't think that BJP has any hold in Punjab," she added.
On Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's demand for transferring Chandigarh to Punjab, she said. "As the BJP has its governments at the centre and Haryana, now it should clear its stand over the long-pending issue of Chandigarh. BJP is also a partner in the Punjab government, it is time now to solve the issue by transferring Chandigarh to Punjab."
Bhattal refused to comment over Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's misbehavior with a journalist saying, "I cannot comment on this, but I would say that there is no need to highlight the issue, which has been rejected by the courts."