Bajwa flays Badal for silence on Sikhs' plight in Gujarat
Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Partap Singh Bajwa on Tuesday criticised chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for keeping mum over the displacement of Sikhs, mainly agriculturists living in the Kutch area, by the BJP government in Gujarat.
Addressing a party rally at Bunga Sahib, about 25 km from Rupnagar, Bajwa said the anti-minority community mindset of chief minister Narendra Modi had been exposed again in Gujarat, where Sikhs were being hounded and told to sell their land and go back to Punjab.
He described the political alliance between the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and BJP as 'opportunistic' and driven by business interests of the Badal family. He said the SAD was neither a representative party of the Sikhs nor did it have any political philosophy and farsightedness.
Bajwa said Sikhs from Punjab had migrated to Kutch after being invited by former prime minister late Lal Bahadur Shastri. He added that Sikh farmers had worked hard to make the land fit for cultivation and contributed their bit to the Green Revolution.
The PPCC president said a deputation of Sikhs from Gujarat had met Badal, but failed to get any assurance from him. Badal could have used his political clout with the BJP to withdraw legal proceedings against Sikh farmers in the national interest, he added.
Bajwa also accused the SAD-BJP government of not fulfilling its poll promise of promoting religious tourism in Punjab. He urged Congress leaders and workers to shun factionalism and work for strengthening the party.
Prominent among those who addressed the rally were Anandpur Sahib MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, PPCC vice-president and former MLA Rana KP Singh, MLAs Gurkirat Singh Kotli and Balbir Singh Sidhu, former minister Tej Parkash Singh, former MP Kamal Chaudhary and Rupnagar district Congress president Sukhwinder Singh Saini.
Earlier, Bajwa was welcomed by Congress leaders and workers at Rupnagar on the way to Bunga Sahib.