Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal called the Congress an “anti-national” party on Saturday, accusing it of stirring trouble in the state by encouraging secessionist forces.
Badal told a news conference that Congress leaders shared stage with radical and separatist elements at a recent gathering in Amritsar, where the demand for Khalistan was made.
On Thursday, Badal said the Punjab government had “evidence of foreign agencies being behind the recent congregation” of radical Sikhs at Chabba village near Amritsar on November 10 and that the state government would share it with the CBI.
“Everyone knows what Punjab went through in the 80s. Those fifteen years of militancy, disturbance, where thousands of Punjabis were killed, there was communal as well as full disturbance of peace in the state of Punjab,” Badal said.
“Everyone knows how it started and in order to fight Akali Dal, the Congress encouraged certain elements which then went out of control and that led to full 15 years of disturbance in Punjab which even threatened the nation’s integrity. Today, Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi is trying to create the same environment in the state,” he said on Saturday.
The deputy CM said the Congress knew about the agenda behind the controversial Sikh congregation called the Sarbat Khalsa. “All resolutions passed during that rally, including the demand of Khalistan, were done at the behest of the Congress. Sarbat Khalsa organiser Simranjit Singh Mann had also said that the Congress knew about the agenda beforehand,” he said.
Gandhi, he alleged, went to Punjab and encouraged radical elements at a time when Pakistan’s ISI was looking to foment trouble in the state.
He said the Congress leaders shared stage with groups demanding Khalistan and arranged the crowd for the rally. “Many Congress leaders were present at the Sikh radicals’ event and had even provided 4,000-5,000 people to attend the rally,” he said.
Referring to the Sarbat Khalsa, Badal said they appointed the convict in Beant Singh assassination case as ‘jathedar’ or chief priest.
Badal, who is the chief of Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), also met President Pranab Mukherjee and demanded that action should be taken against Congress and the party should be “de-recognised”.
He said his government had also written to the home ministry regarding the developments in the state.
With inputs from agencies