Aam Aadmi Party’s leader of opposition HS Phoolka shared the stage with Congress cabinet minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot to slam Badals at state government’s official commemoration of the 13th death anniversary of Akali stalwart late Gurcharan Singh Tohra at his native Tohra village on Friday.
While many saw his presence as an attempt to ‘appropriate’ Tohra’s legacy especially after the latter’s daughter joined the AAP before the recent assembly elections, Phoolka said that Tohra’s legacy was beyond oneparty politics given his immense contribution for Punjab and Punjabiyat.
He said that not many people know that Tohra had a big role in collecting the records of Delhi Sikh riot victims.
“In spite of his huge contribution, he was thrown out of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) just because he did not want the party with so many sacrifices, to fall in hands of one Badal family. It is shameful that the same Badals are now trying to own him up by holding separate functions and that too away from his native village. This is after they disrespected him during his lifetime and even after his death,” said Phoolka.
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal held a parallel gathering at the Bahadurgarh Gurudwara, which also drew flak from several of Tohra’s old associates including former SGPC general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur and Former Akal Takhat Jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh. Bhaur slammed Badals for conspiring not only against Tohras’ but all other Taksali families and all this was done to make way for Sukhbir as party president.
“He (Tohra) set high standards in his public life and never let the institutions like SGPC to become politicised to a level it has been plunged now. Sikh Samaj has rightly vent their anger by defeating Badals in recent elections,” he said
Former Congress leader Bir Davinder blamed Badals for separating the SAD from the Panth and then making a hidden pact with BJP’s ideological body, the RSS. Bhai Ranjit Singh called upon people to throw out Badals from Panth too, after their political routing in the recent elections.
He said that it was unfortunate to see the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib during Badal’s rule and they did not do anything.
“The time has come when the growing challenges before Sikh Samaj need needs to be dealt on the inspirations from Tohra’s legacy,” he added
DESECRATION AT BADAL’S BEHEST, WILL NAB ACCUSED SOON: DHARAMSOT
Paying homage to late Tohra, Punjab cabinet minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot said that all the incidents of desecration had happened at Badals’ behest and Congress government would nab the accused.
Many speakers on the dais raised the demand for renaming Punjabi university after Tohra. To this, the minister said he would bring the matter to the notice of chief minister Amarinder Singh.