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Bajwa strongly counters Sukhbir’s allegation of Congress being anti-Sikh

Chandigarh: Challenging the contention that the role of the Congress continued to be anti-Sikh, the state Congress President, Mr. Partap Singh Bajwa, reminded the Shiromani Akali Dal President and the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, that it was the Congress which provided space to Dr. Manmohan Singh to be elevated to the highest executive office of the Prime Minister of the country and that too for two terms. On the other hand, it was the Akali Dal which was trying to crush the aspirations of the Sikhs in Haryana on the issue of the separate gurdwara management committee for that state which was their right in every sense of the term. He said on the other hand under the Narendra Modi government, the only Sikh minister in the cabinet was from the Akali Dal and that too from the Badal family. “Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal is forgetting that his father, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, entered the Punjab Vidhan Sabha for the first time in 1957 on the Congress ticket. He himself is married in the Majithia family and his sister Mrs. Parneet Kaur in the famous Kairon family, both of which are the traditional Congress families of Majha whose present generation has converted to Akali Dal and that too because of family ties. In case the Congress is anti-Sikh, how come that his father opted for the traditional Congress families to marry on son and daughter”, he asked. He said Mr. Sukhbir Badal should stop misleading the people with such propaganda as one should preach only that which one follows. There could not be two standards. Extending unequivocal support to the Haryana Sikhs who are demanding separate Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee for the shrines in that state, he pointed out that it was the Akali Dal which was responsible for the enactment of the Punjab Re-organisation Act, 1966 and according to Section 72 of this Act, the demand for separate gurdwara panel was legal and thus justified. The demand was not the brainchild of the Congress but result of the discrimination meted out to the Haryana Sikhs by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. He held the Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and the Shiromani Akali Dal chief responsible for reducing the SGPC which had come into existence after great sacrifices by the Sikhs, including from the region that is now part of Haryana, to its present level of ad hoc committee. He said Mr. Avtar Singh Makkar was only its caretaker President. “The legal luminaries have made it clear that the Haryana government is fully within its jurisdiction to enact this legislation under Section 72 of the Punjab Re-organisation Act. So far as the allegations against the Congress of dividing the Sikhs, it is the Akali Dal which is directly responsible for it as it resulted from the demand of this party for a Sikh dominated state where they could form the government”, he remarked. He commented that even the Akali stalwarts like Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra had been blaming Mr. Badal for the denigration of the supreme Sikh institutions for vested political interests and advised him to read recent history to update himself. He reiterated that it was the Congress which had been according due respect to all the minorities in the country rather than throttling their aspirations and on the contrary, it was the Bharatiya Janata Party, the alliance partner of the Akali Dal, which had the image of being anti-minorities and this character of the party was also reflected in the Lok Sabha. 
Online lottery will be ruinous for people
Opposing the proposal of the Punjab government to revive the24X7 online lottery, the Punjab Congress President, Mr. Partap Singh Bajwa, warned that it would prove to be ruinous for the people. “I would like to point out that the state government had to ban single digit lottery for this very reason and the online lottery would prove to be more disastrous for the people. This lottery is against the very concept of a welfare state”, he commented in a statement. He recalled the same arguments of curbing satta and other such activities was extended while introducing single digit lottery. Ultimately it had to be withdrawn by almost every state. Mr Bajwa reminded the Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, that Punjab was the sacred land of Sikh Gurus, saints and sages and it was on this land that they proposed to start gambling. Earlier, they had converted Punjab into the land of the addicts. Majority of youth in the state were hooked to one drug or the other which were smuggled under politician-police nexus. Now the move had been initiated to take this ruinous to yet another dangerous level by turning Punjabis the gamblers. “What a great footprint you people are leaving on this sacred land”, he said.
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