Ahmed slams Sukhbir for dubbing Cong anti-national
Hitting out at deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for dubbing the Congress as ‘anti-national’, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and in- charge of party affairs in Punjab, Shakeel Ahmad asked the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president to remember the sacrifice of former chief minister Beant Singh and his role in restoring peace and normalcy in the state.Updated: Nov 22, 2015 22:04 IST
Hitting out at deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for dubbing the Congress as ‘anti-national’, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and in- charge of party affairs in Punjab, Shakeel Ahmed asked the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president to remember the sacrifice of former chief minister Beant Singh and his role in restoring peace and normalcy in the state.
“For the tough stand he took against terrorists and other anti-national elements, Beant Singh had to pay with his life. Had it not been for the supreme sacrifice made by the Congress leader, peace could not have returned to Punjab and you would not have been in power now”, he said in an informal chat with select mediapersons during his brief halt in the city on Sunday.
Ahmed pointed out that the sacrifices of former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi can never be erased from the history of the nation. He advised the SAD chief to introspect the role of his party during the phase of militancy in Punjab.
Regarding the memorandum that the SAD gave to President Pranab Mukherjee levelling allegations against the Congress, the AICC general secretary said the Akalis took the step just to counter the Congress, which had met the President a couple of days back. The Congress delegation, led by the party’s vice president Rahul Gandhi, had demanded a probe by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court into the sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib and this led to panic in the Akali ranks, he claimed.
“We had made this demand after the Badal government alleged that certain government agencies were involved in sacrilege incidents. The Akalis feared that the President may order a probe so they too went to the Rashtrapati Bhavan levelling allegations against us,” said Ahmad.
Badals diverting people’s attention
Ahmed went onto claim that the government agencies may have played a role in the sacrilege incidents to distract people’s attention from core issues. Under pressure from the farmers following the failure of the cotton crop and the losses incurred by paddy and basmati growers, the government felt helpless and “took the sacrilege route to divert attention of the public,” he claimed.
“The Badals are using diversionary tactics. They are aware of the hopeless position of their government and have become jittery to such an extent that now they have started blaming the Congress for all problems confronting the state”, he added.
When pointed out that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had refused to call the Congress anti-national, Ahmad quipped: “The father and son are two sides of the same coin.”
First Published: Nov 22, 2015 21:52 IST