Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal said Sunday that the recurrence of “the most painful acts of sacrilege against the Sikh religion clearly points towards a deep-rooted conspiracy.”
Talking to media persons after addressing gatherings in support of party candidates Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu in Talwandi Sabo and Prem Kumar Arora in Mansa, the SAD chief called upon the Union and the state governments “to demonstrate sincerity and sense of urgency in their conduct and actions to identify, expose and punish those behind this conspiracy”. “Their attitude so far has left much to be desired as there is more politics on the present rulers’ minds than the pursuit of real culprits,” he added.
Badal said those carrying out such “unforgivable” nefarious deeds had been emboldened as the Congress leadership and government in Punjab had wasted nearly five years playing politics over the issue of sacrilege. “Instead of going after the actual actors and conspirators behind sacrilegious acts, the Congress leaders and government have been busy using these tragic events to malign their political opponents. This has allowed the actual perpetrators to go scot-free. Even those guilty of these acts at Sachkhand Sri Harmandir Sahib and at Kapurthala would have escaped had the SGPC and the devotees not been vigilant,” Badal said in a statement.
Addressing the gatherings, he announced that the next SAD-BSP government would construct a 500-bed medical college and hospital in Mansa and that all irrigation-related problems at the tail-ends of canals would be solved by the construction of underground water pipes. Farmers without a tubewell connection would be given one on a priority basis, he said.
Badal also announced a crop insurance cover of Rs 50,000 per acre for farmers and promised to revive the old pension scheme which ended in 2004, wipe out the sand and liquor mafia, waive the electricity bills of religious places, and provide land for graveyards in villages with Muslim and Christian populations. Besides, traders would be provided life insurance, medical insurance and fire insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh each, he said.
Hundreds of Akali workers on tractors welcomed Badal at the entrance of Mansa city. Playing the ‘Veer Sukhbir’ song, the tractors escorted him to the rally site in the market accompanied by hundreds of motorcycles. Senior leaders Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Dilraj Singh Bhunder, Jagdeep Singh Nakai, Balkar Singh Brar, Gurmel Singh Fafde Bhaike were also present on the occasion.