PUNJAB CONG LASHES OUT AT SAD OVER WILD CHARGES AGAINST CAPT AMARINDER, GANDHI FAMILY
Chandigarh, April 16
Punjab Congress leader Rana Gurjit Singh has lashed out at the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for its accusations against Captain Amarinder Singh and the Gandhi family over the row involving Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan.
Rana Gurjit, who is Power & Irrigation Minister in Captain Amarinder government, said the wild allegations made by the SAD had exposed their pro-Khalistani leanings, considering that many Canadian liberals themselves had charged Sajjan with indulging in such sympathies.
The SAD, by siding with a `Khalistani sympathizer’ like Sajjan, had proven that it did not have the welfare of the state or its people at heart but was only keen on promoting its own political interests even if it meant communalizing the environment of Punjab, said the Congress leader.
By choosing to deny a fact acknowledged and accepted by many in Canada and India, the SAD was once again trying to polarize the state of Punjab on communal lines, as it had been doing repeatedly over the past several years, said Rana Gurjit. The state government had been tracking all activities of the pro-Khalistani elements and had enough information to show that Sajjan was siding with pro-Khalistani forces, which were perpetually trying to raise their head in Punjab again, the Congress leader said.
Noting that the Badal-led SAD’s nefarious designs to communalize the state’s fabric had failed in the past, with the voters of Punjab rejecting their efforts outright in the recent assembly elections, Rana Gurjit said the people of Punjab would not allow their peace and harmony to be disrupted again at any cost. “We have suffered enough at the hands of extremists and will do everything in our power to prevent revival of militancy in any form in the state,” he said.
Rana Gurjit also flayed the SAD for unnecessarily dragging the Gandhi family into the Sajjan controversy. Captain Amarinder had never shied away from taking a principled stand on any issue, even if it meant breaking away from the party as he had done in the wake of Operation Bluestar, the Congress leader pointed out, adding that the Chief Minister believes in standing by his values and principles, irrespective of the impact it might have on his political career.
The minister said Captain Amarinder’s stand on the 1984 riots issue was more than clear and he had publicly articulated the same on several occasions. The Chief Minister was not answerable to the SAD but was only accountable to the people of Punjab, who had given him a resounding mandate in the recent assembly polls, Rana Gurjit added.