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  India   Politics  02 Mar 2019  Congress-Akali duel gets dirty ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Congress-Akali duel gets dirty ahead of Lok Sabha polls

THE ASIAN AGE. | TANVEER THAKUR
Published : Mar 2, 2019, 2:12 am IST
Updated : Mar 2, 2019, 2:12 am IST

The Akalis immediately called for his resignation. Some went as far as demanding to put him to trial for sedition.

A file photo of chief minister Amarinder Singh with minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.
 A file photo of chief minister Amarinder Singh with minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Chandigarh: If the last Assembly elections in Punjab were fought on charges and countercharges of drugs and corruption, the forthcoming parliamentary elections could witness personal charges levelled against one another in the season of nationalism.

To begin with, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders have started attacking Congress minister Navjot Singh Sidhu after his statement on Pulwama attack in which he purportedly sought to defend Pakistan.

 

The Akalis immediately called for his resignation. Some went as far as demanding to put him to trial for sedition.

Reacting to the terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama last week, Mr Sidhu had said that “for a handful of people, you cannot blame the entire nation”.

Attacking Mr Sidhu for his remarks, former chief minister and (SAD) patron Parkash Singh Badal went as far as demanding a sedition case registered against Mr Sidhu as well as his expulsion from the state Cabinet for giving a clean chit to Pakistan and its intelligence agencies in the Pulwama terror case that kille over 40 CRPF personnel in the deadliest terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir in three decades.

 

The former chief minister said Mr Sidhu had committed an anti-national Act by stating that Pakistan could not be held responsible for the act of terror despite that government’s open support to the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit which has claimed responsibility for the same.

“A sedition case should be registered against him and he should be proceeded against immediately,” Mr Badal said.

Not to be left behind, Mr Sidhu’s bete noire Bikramjeet Singh Majithia remarked similarly, “While chief minister Capt. Amarinder Singh has condemned Pakistan and even announced that he would teach a lesson to Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Bajwa if he tries to create mischief in Punjab, his Cabinet colleague Mr Sidhu announced that the Pakistan government and its Army did not have any role to play in the Pulwama attack. No government can speak in two voices.”

 

A combative Mr Sidhu attacked Akali leader Mr  Majithia and his sister Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal that their great grandfather Sunder Singh Majithia was a “British stooge” and hosted British General Dyer after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919.

The Punjab Assembly recently passed a resolution that the British government must apologise for the massacre.

However, Congress leaders are now saying both Bikramjit Singh Majithia and his sister Harsimrat Kaur should apologise for the deeds of their great grandfather.

Sharing “evidence” with the media, Mr Sidhu demanded that not only Mr Majithia but his sister should also apologise for the alleged dinner hosted for the “butcher of Jallianwala Bagh”, General Dyer, by their great-grandfather after the massacre in 1919.

 

Mr Sidhu, cooperation minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and MLAs Kuljit Nagra and Inderbir Singh Baloria claimed there was ample historical evidence available to support the fact that Sunder Singh Majithia was a “British stooge”.

Sharing notes from the works of eminent historians, including Prof V.N. Dutta, Prof Mohinder Singh and Khushwant Singh, and news clips and British gazetteers, Mr Randhawa alleged that Sunder Singh Majithia also supported the culprits of the massacre of Nankana Sahib and was against any kind of revolutionary activity during the freedom struggle.

He claimed that even the Akalis had denounced Sunder Singh Majithia as a traitor.

 

“It is an irony that the people who were denounced as traitors by the Akali Dal have now hijacked the same party,” he said.

Challenging Mr Majithia to a debate, the Congress leaders said he should prove them wrong or apologise for the “misdeeds of his great-grandfather”.

Tags: shiromani akali dal, navjot singh sidhu