CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will hold a rally in Lambi, the home turf of Parkash Singh Badal, to challenge his predecessor's "misleading" claims on sensitive cases of sacrilege, a spokesperson said Sunday.
The chief minister will hold a rally in Badal's assembly constituency Lambi in the last week of September after zila parishad elections in the state, the spokesperson said.
He said Amarinder Singh had taken serious note of Badal's "continued and wilful attempts to create communal unrest in the state through his deceitful statements on the report of Justice (Retd) Ranjit Singh Commission on the widespread incidents of sacrilege that had taken place during the SAD-BJP rule".
"Badal has a habit of raising communal passions by spreading a web of lies and misusing religion every time around the elections," the spokesperson quoted Amarinder Singh as having said.
The chief minister has "vowed to expose" the Akali leader's "real face" to the people of Punjab, he said.
Notably, addressing party's 'Pol Khol' rally in Faridkot on Sunday, Badal said he and his son Sukhbir were "ready to sacrifice" their lives for defending the cause of peace and communal harmony in the state.
Badal had alleged at the rally that the "Congress was in collusion with the forces that had already put Punjab through a period of turmoil, violence and bloodshed".
"The former chief minister has been trying to spread a disinformation campaign on the issue of Bargarhi and other sacrilege cases (in 2015), as well as the incidents of police firing on innocent and peaceful protestors in Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura, since the commission had come out with its report," Amarinder Singh said.
Badal, who has been under fire ever since the report was tabled in the state Assembly, was clearly "desperate to divert public attention from his own role" in these cases, the chief minister said, lambasting his predecessor for "exploiting the religious sentiments of the people to protect his interests.
" "Badal has always misused religion to further his political ambitions and agenda," Amarinder Singh alleged, pointing to the incidents of communal strife that had rocked the state ahead of every election, including the 2017 Assembly polls.
"Fortunately, however, the people of Punjab had seen through his attempts to destabilise the state and had voted him and his party decisively out of power," he added.
"With the parliamentary elections now around the corner, Badal is once again trying to whip up communal passions in a desperate bid to retrieve the lost political ground for his Shiromani Akali Dal," Amarinder Singh alleged further.
The chief minister made it clear that he would not allow Badal "to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the state at any cost," and would expose his "mal-intentions" through the proposed rally.