- LASHES OUT AT BADALS FOR PERSISTENT EFFORTS TO EXPLOIT RELIGION TO FURTHER THEIR POLITICAL INTERESTS
Chandigarh, January 10: Lashing out at SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal for questioning his loyalties, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday said while he was loyal to both, his state and his party, the Badal clan, including the union minister, were devoted only to themselves.
For Harsimrat and the rest of the Badals, neither Punjab and its people nor the Sikh Panth of whom they claimed to be the guardians, were important, as they were only faithful to their own personal interests, said the Chief Minister, lambasting the Akali leadership for their repeated tirades of falsehood and deceit.
Taking Harsimrat head-on over her statement, which he trashed as a pack of lies, Captain Amarinder Singh said his loyalty to Punjab was unquestionable, and he remained equally loyal to the Congress, whose government he was heading in the state. “But your (Harsimrat’s) loyalty to your party has been questioned by your own party members, while that to Punjab has been rejected by none other than the people of Punjab, whose lives you destroyed mercilessly in the 10-years of SAD-BJP misrule,” he added.
Reacting strongly to Harsimrat’s allegations against him and his government, Captain Amarinder Singh said the union minister’s unfounded and baseless accusations were so obviously a bundle of lies aimed at garnering votes in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls that even a child could see through them.
Harsimrat, like the rest of the Badal clan, had mastered the art of deceit and treachery and continued to indulge in untruths and fabrications even after the total rejection of her party and its politics by the people of Punjab, said the Chief Minister, adding that this showed the desperation of the Akalis in the face of their imminent defeat in the parliamentary elections that were just a few weeks away.
“Little does she realise that the Akalis are only making a mockery of themselves with their frustrated attempts to mislead the people, who have full faith in the incumbent Congress government in the state,” said Captain Amarinder Singh, citing the series of electoral victories of his party in Punjab, beginning with the 2017 Assembly polls.
In her desperate bid to befool the people, Harsimrat had unwittingly endorsed his statement that the Centre had failed to release funds yet for the development of the Kartarpur Corridor, the Chief Minister pointed out. Since the Kartarpur Corridor was a central project, his government could acquire the necessary land for it only once the Union Government identifies the same, which it had failed so far to do, contrary to Harsmirat’s claims, said Captain Amarinder Singh.
Be it the Kartarpur Corridor or the Panth, the Badals had been playing with the religious sentiments of the people for years now, said Captain Amarinder Singh, adding that such policies would continue to backfire on them, as they had done in the Assembly elections and the subsequent by-elections and other polls in the state.
The SAD first family had always exploited religion for their politically motivated interests, as exposed by the Commission probing the sacrilege cases in the state, the Chief Minister said. Even the 1984 riots cases were blatant evidence of the Badals’ obsession with misusing religion to further their own interests, said Captain Amarinder Singh, reacting to SAD president Sukhbir Badal’s repeated baseless statement alleging the involvement of the Gandhis in the violence. Sukhbir himself was not even around at that time but chose to persistently drag the Gandhi family’s name into the matter even though there was not an iota of evidence against them, said Captain Amarinder Singh.
If the Badals were seriously concerned about protecting the interests of the Sikh community, they should speak about the BJP/RSS workers actually named in the FIR of the 1984 riots, instead of fictionalising the Gandhis’ role in the violence, asserted the Chief Minister. And instead of playing games over the Kartarpur issue, they should pressurise their ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruling at the Centre, to release the necessary funds for the corridor development without further delay, he added.