Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh on Sunday strongly condemned the violence and intimidation allegedly resorted to by workers of ruling Shiromani Akali Dal during an Aam Aadmi Party rally in Malout.
“Such tendencies must be nipped in the bud as the electoral violence will be the worst thing that can happen to Punjab,” he warned after Saturday’s violence.
Punjab goes to polls early next year.
“I am sure this must have been done personally at the behest of the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who was also roaming around in the same district around the time,” Amarinder alleged in a statement here.
The PCC president said, this only reveals the frustration among the Akalis, particularly the Badals and that is the reason that they were allegedly trying to intimidate their political opponents.
“Better fight them politically than using physical force,” he asked Badal, while warning against violent confrontation ahead of elections in the state.
The Congress leader, who is the MP from Amritsar, reiterated his warning to the police “against playing partisan role”.
He asked them to ensure peace and safety of everyone participating in the political process.
“We are living in a democracy and not a dictatorship and everyone has a right to convey his message and express his point of view,” the former Chief Minister said, while asking the police to ensure that such things are not allowed to happen in future.
10 persons were injured in a clash between AAP and Akali Dal supporters at a rally addressed by Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann in Malout in Muktsar on Saturday.
The clash took place when some youth Akali workers objected to Mann allegedly criticising senior SAD leaders Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Bikram Singh Majithia, police had said earlier.
The fight continued for a few minutes during which the supporters of the rival parties hurled chairs at each other.
AAP workers had claimed that Akali supporters started the fight first, a charge denied by the ruling outfit’s activists who instead blamed the supporters of the rookie party for the clash.
Condemning the disruption of the AAP rally at Malout, AAP’s national spokesperson Jarnail Singh had said on Saturday that “with the growing support of AAP among masses, opposition parties have got frustrated and are adopting such tactics to create fear among AAP workers, who are courageous enough to give befitting reply to such tactics”.