FATEHGARH SAHIB: On the second day of the three-day annual ‘Shaheedi Jor Mela’ here on Sunday, the Akali Dal branded the Congress the ‘No 1 enemy of Sikhs’, while the latter alleged that the former had subverted and undermined the authority of various Sikh institutions like the Akal Takhat.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said that it was an established fact that Congress was the ‘No 1 enemy of Sikhs’, and more over it was on the record that the party had done lot of injustice to the State by depriving it of its capital, legitimate share in river waters and Punjabi-speaking areas.
He said that the Congress had inflicted a deep wound on Sikh psyche by attacking the Golden Temple and by killing thousands of innocent Sikhs during the 1984 Sikh carnage.
Badal said that Congress was solely responsible for the decade long militancy in the State, in which more than 21,000 people were killed and thus the State’s economy was derailed beyond anyone’s imagination.
Without mincing any words, Badal even said anyone who joined hands with the Congress was equally responsible for its misdeeds and conspiracies perpetrated against Punjab and would ultimately put a seal of his approval on their unpardonable sins like attack on Golden Temple in Amritsar and other excesses meted out to Punjab and Punjabis.
He said that leaders like Amarinder, Chottepur and Khaira were habitual turncoats and their sole aim was to pursue the politics of opportunism. He said loyalty to the party was the least consideration for them as the moment they were denied some position or ticket in the party, they cared two hoots for it. Badal said that Amarinder left the Shiromani Akali Dal as he too was denied ticket because he didn’t fulfill the prescribed criteria for the ticket allotment.
On his part, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt Amarinder Singh lashed out at Badal for subverting and undermining the authority of various Sikh institutions like the Akal Takhat. “Tell me what sort of Sikh you are?” he asked Badal while pointing out how he had subjugated the people like the SGPC president and Akal Takhat Jathedar and made them work as his personal subordinates.
Amarinder also expressed grave concern over the deteriorating standard of education in the government schools, saying there was a great chasm when it came to education of the children belonging to the rich families and those belonging to the poor families, which needed to be bridged. He questioned even the Akali credentials of the Badals saying the true Akalis were well meaning people unlike Badal, who was only concerned about his own and family interests. Questioning the claims of Badal about safeguarding the interests of the Sikhs, he pointed out that it was the Congress government led by him in 2002 that had announced setting up of a women and childcare hospital in memory of Mata Gujri. “Punjab needs change and it cannot change till this government is not thrown out,” he said.