BJP is unhappy with Badal’s handling of Dera crisis

Updated on May 19, 2007 12:16 AM IST
BJP is unhappy with Parkash Singh Badal's handling of the crisis in the state following the clash, reports Shekhar Iyer.
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Hindustan Times | ByShekhar Iyer, New Delhi

The Akali Dal’s coaltion partner, the BJP, is unhappy with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s handling of the crisis in the state following the showdown involving thousands of Sikhs and followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda religious sect.

BJP chief Rajnath Singh spoke to Badal twice on Friday to convey the party’s concern about the happenings in Punjab for the last three days. The BJP hold the key to the government's survival.

The BJP had initially joined the Akalis in blaming the Congress and former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for creating the trouble for the three-month coalition.

Though the BJP still shared Badal’s perception that the trouble was engineered by the political rivals, the first priority at this moment is to control the situation and establish peace and tranquility in the state, Rajnath told Badal.

Rajnath wanted talks to be held between the Dera and the Sikh leaders. "This is not the time to discuss about political motives and a conspiracy theory on the matter," he said when asked by the media at Thiruvananthapuram on whether the Congress had any role in the incident.

A Punjab BJP leader said, "The party is not satisfied with the methods adopted by the government to handle the situation so far." said a Punjab BJP leader.

A statement issued by Punjab BJP Office secretary Raj Bhatia said the party is of the firm view that, had stringent steps been taken at the very beginning, the state could have been saved from loss of a precious life and properties.

"The government should take stringent steps so that anti-social elements and opportunist forces fail to raise its heads," said the statement.

The Sikhs say the Dera leader has insulted their religion by appearing in an advertisement dressed as one of their most revered leaders, Guru Gobind Singh. DSS leader Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh has denied trying to look like Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th guru of Sikhism, in the advertisement.

Describing the turn of events in the past four days as "unfortunate", the BJP also condemned the alleged imitation of the dress of Sikhs' Guru Gobind Singh by the head of the Dera. It said the "provocative act" was responsible for the atmosphere of fear and insecurity in the state.

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