The Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday said that Congress stood exposed as the real “culprits” of 1984 anti-Sikh riots by getting “engineered” delivery of official notice on Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), desisting the latter from raising proposed '1984 Sikh genocide memorial' inside Gurdwara Rakabganj Sahib complex in the national capital.
“Their (Congress) opposition to the proposed memorial has exposed them as real culprits behind 1984 anti-Sikh riots. What is the harm in raising a memorial for those killed in the aftermath of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's death? Thousands of Sikhs were brutally murdered on Delhi roads 29 years ago. Widows of several victims are still to be properly rehabilitated,” Badal, accompanied by the revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, said.
The controversy erupted when New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) recently served a notice on the DSGMC, cautioning it against raising any structure against the building byelaws while the Sikh body was fully geared up to lay memorial's foundation stone on June 12 irrespective of the repercussions. The memorial's foundation stone was said to be illegal construction in civic body's records.
The veteran Akali leader was evasive on whether he would join the foundation stone laying ceremony or not. “I have not read the newspapers in details on this issue. I will check the facts,” he said, without elaborating on his participation.
Meanwhile, conscience over this emotive issue already taking political overtones, the Congress leadership in Delhi was said to have deliberated upon the same and advised in favour of withdrawal of such NDMC notice at the earliest. Discussing another option, NDMC may be told not to proceed further on the issue. The Congress leadership was fully seized of the matter and was not in favour of allowing Akali-BJP combine to harvest political gains.
Terming approval of Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata industrial corridor as beneficial for Punjab, Badal said that his government deserved the credit for making concerted efforts to get it extended up to Amritsar.
Demanding a special economic package for Punjab, he said that centre was continuously discriminating with the opposition states while allocating the funds. “We received just Rs 76 crores as against a demand of Rs 400 crores for certain public health projects. Centre is deliberately releasing meager grants,” he said, adding that the centre had failed to release adequate police modernization funds till date.
Commenting on centre's plan to send a team for probing into alleged financial scam in education department, Badal sarcastically said that the central team was welcome in the state. “They (Congress) will not stop sending such teams if we will ask for the same. So, let them send as many teams as they want,” he quipped.
Making a scathing attack on the Congress leaders, Majithia said that they were 'hypocrites' for shedding crocodile tears in the state but keeping mum towards injustice being meted out to the state by the centre. He said that state Congress leadership owes an answer to people of Punjab as why they have never raised any objection before their 'high command' for its alleged anti-Punjab stance.