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AAP plays Panthic card before poll code in Punjab

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders on Monday lashed out at the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), terming it an ‘anti-Panthic’ party, and calling the Congress ‘killer of Sikhs’.

punjab Updated: Dec 27, 2016 11:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
AAP Lok Sabha member Bhagwant Maan, spokesperson Sukhpal SIngh Khaira and HS Phoolka in Fatehgarh Sahib on Monday.(Bharat Bhushan/HT)

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders on Monday lashed out at the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), terming it an ‘anti-Panthic’ party, and calling the Congress ‘killer of Sikhs’.

“We all belonged to Akali Dal once. It was a party that came into existence for a purpose led by stalwarts like Harcharan Singh Longowal and Gurcharan Singh Tohra. As soon as Badal took over, he destroyed the sanctity of Akali Dal and the panth,” said Sukhpal Singh Khaira, AAP spokesperson and party candidate from Bholath.

Khaira said his opponent , Akali Dal candidate Jagir Kaur, was a “criminal”. “Badals made her Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief and she signed a 15-year contract for telecasting live Gurbani from the Golden Temple on PTC channel. The SGPC could have earned ₹100 crore from giving telecast rights but Badals won’t let that happen,” he said.

Party candidate from Dakha HS Phoolka said deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal’s amphibious bus project on which the government spent ₹20 crore turned out to be damp squib and the water overflow inundated wheat crop over 250 acres. “He (Sukhbir) misused public money just to satisfy his ego,” said Phoolka.

Training guns at the Congress, Phoolka said like Mir Manu had offered heads of Sikhs to Shah Alam, Jagdish Tytler offered heads of people from the community to Rajiv Gandhi. “Captain Amarinder Singh gave clean chit to Tytler just to save his post as state unit chief,” Phoolka said. He said Captain may have promised a job to every household in the party manifesto, but he had ‘abolished’ government jobs when he came to power in 2002. “If providing government jobs was not possible at time due to economic crisis then how is it possible now?” asked Phoolka.

Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann spoke about farmer suicides, VIP culture and ended his speech with his poem — ‘kikli’. Other who spoke on the occasion were Harjot Bains, Gurpreet Bhatti, Lakhbir Rai and Santokh Singh Salana.

More than a dozen Gurbani verses recited by AAP’s Delhi AAP legislator Jarnail Singh left the gathering spellbound. He said Akali leaders camped for days in Delhi to make Harsimrat Badal a Union minister, but they never spared time to seek justice for 1984 riots victims or safeguarding Punjab’s water. “Eh charitarheen han...gunheen han par Akali nahi (They are characterless, meritless and not Akalis),” he said. “Had they been the saviours of panth, we (Jarnail Singh and HS Phoolka) would have been a part of SAD not AAP,” Jarnail said.

Party’s Punjab in-charge Sanjay Singh and state convener Gurpreet Singh Waraich did not attend the conference.

First Published: Dec 27, 2016 11:21 IST