CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today called upon all political parties not to block highways but to find alternative ways to protest, saying any form of dissent causing inconvenience to people cannot be termed "democratic".
He also lashed out at the Akalis for indulging in "street politics" at the cost of public welfare.
The chief minister's reaction came a day after the Akali Dal led by Sukhbir Singh Badal blocked roads and national highways in protest against alleged attacks on its party workers and registration of "false" cases against them.
Amarinder said his government would not allow a law and order breakdown in the state, nor would it permit anyone to hold the citizens to ransom.
"Lakhs of people suffered as a result of the Akali dharnas, which were nothing but sheer theatrics," he said, adding such acts were a "sign of petty minds" which do not see beyond short-term personal gains.
"Military convoys could not move in time and essential supplies could not reach the soldiers standing guard at the borders due to this ill-thought and abhorrent decision of the Akalis," he said.
The national highways are of strategic military importance, besides being the lifeline of civilians, and nothing can justify blocking these vital links, he said.
Rejecting the Akalis' claim of mobilising masses, the senior Congress leader said they were indulging in "street politics" out of "sheer desperation", hoping it would help them recover some of the lost political ground.
"They are going the AAP way with their dramas, without realising that they would meet the same fate as the party of Arvind Kejriwal, who had also slept on roads as part of his political game plan," Amarinder said.