Close on the heels of AAP MLA Naresh Yadav being booked in connection with an alleged sacrilege incident, Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday accused the ruling SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab of indulging in communal politics.
“Since AAP has emerged as a serious challenge to these communal forces, they (SAD-BJP) are not keeping any stone unturned to defame the party,” he alleged while addressing an event organised by Punjab Christian United Front here.
Violence had erupted after the alleged sacrilege in Malerkotla on June 24 in which a mob even attacked the house of local SAD MLA Farzana Nissara Khatoon, wife of a former Punjab DGP. Several policemen, including a DSP, were injured as about 300-400 protesters hurled stones and torched a car.
Kejriwal said, “If AAP comes to power in Punjab next year, it will not tolerate sacrilege incidents and bring all those who conspired in such inhuman acts to the fore.”
“It is shameful that to defame AAP, they (SAD) did not even spare the holy book,” he alleged and said, “AAP is not here for the play politics but for the change in the political system.”
In Punjab, all sections of the society are fed up with the “mis-governance, rather non-governance” of the SAD-BJP alliance. AAP would be voted to power in the state with a thumping majority, the party’s national convener claimed.
“Drugs are being supplied to every nook and corner of Punjab under political patronage. Instead of cracking down on drug suppliers, police is registering fake cases against drug addicts,” Kejriwal alleged, adding all such fake cases would be withdrawn after AAP forms government.
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He also said, “Once voted to power, we will put Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia behind the bars.”
“It will be a fight between AAP and the grand alliance of SAD-BJP-Congress as the latter will contest the polls under a secret understanding,” Kejriwal claimed.
Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he alleged “After becoming the Prime Minister, most of the time, Narendra Modi is in flying mode. Whenever he lands in India, he is always in planning mode to disturb the Delhi Government by creating hurdles in the ongoing developmental works.”
“Unlike BJP, which rolled out a series of ‘dreams’ including ‘achche din’ as poll promises but later on termed those as ‘chunavi jumle’, AAP believes in fulfilling all its all promises, which is evident in Delhi,” Kejriwal claimed.
Prominent among others who addressed the gathering include state convener of AAP Sucha Singh Chhotepur, MP Bhagwant Mann and senior leader Gurpreet Ghuggi.
Earlier, on his way to Gurdaspur from Amritsar, Kejriwal paid obeisance to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan from Dera Baba Nanak.
Kejriwal claimed that with elections in Punjab round the corner, the Malerkotla sacrilege incident which was “politically motivated” is being “blown out of proportion” by the SAD-BJP government.
“This is an election year and the Badal government is going all out to defame me and my party. I have been told that Sangrur police have been specifically told to implicate some members of my party in the case. Had it not been for the polls, the incident would not have happened,” he claimed.
Since June 24, when the incident took place, police had been blaming VHP but now suddenly they trained their guns on AAP, Kejriwal said.
“Just a day before I started my three-day Punjab tour, the investigators suddenly started targeting my party colleagues. I have been told that this is being done allegedly at the behest of the ruling party,” he claimed.
“This shows that the SAD-BJP alliance fears my party, which is gaining in strength with each passing day. The Badals are hitting below the belt,” Kejriwal alleged.
In wake of the protests by SAD and Congress over the sacrilege incident, the Sangrur district administration, ahead of Kejriwal’s visit to Malerkotla, has clamped Section 144 of CrPC prohibiting assembly of more than 10 people in one place.
The AAP national convener, who was earlier in the day in Phagwara of Kapurthala district, faced stiff protests from various religious bodies over the MLA’s alleged involvement in the case. Heavy police force have been deployed in the area to prevent any untoward incident.
Sangrur Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Preetpal Singh Thind said, “Summons were issued to the MLA, who will be questioned tomorrow (Tuesday). We are investigating the matter.”
“He (Yadav) told us that he would come to Patiala by 11 AM on Tuesday for questioning. His brother has received the summons. We told Yadav about the allegations levelled against him, let’s see what he says,” the SSP said.
About Kejriwal’s visit to Malerkotla, the SSP said, “We will provide full security to him.”
Meanwhile, addressing a ‘Dalit Sammelan’ at Phagwara, Kejriwal sounded a note of caution to the members of the community, alleging that “RSS and its protege BJP” would end reservation whenever they got opportunity.
“Though the RSS chief backtracked from his statement when he realised that it will harm BJP’s poll prospects, it exposed the mindset and conspiracy of RSS and BJP about Dalits and reservation,” he said.
Eyeing Dalit vote-bank, the largest concentration of which is in the Doaba region, he asked, “How can anyone even think of doing so when condition of Dalits have not improved a bit even 70 years after independence.”
Declaring that AAP will work to uplift the Dalits when it comes to power in Punjab, the Delhi Chief Minister claimed that over 90 per cent Dalits had voted for his party in the national capital and they still stands with the party as it had done what it had promised.
Blaming the BJP government at Centre for the death of Rohith Vemula, a Dalit scholar of Hyderabad University, Kejriwal claimed, “Rohit and four other Dalit students were suspended because they propagated Ambedkar’s philosophy and ABVP could not digest it.”
Refering to a Dalit girl’s rape, chopping of a Dalit man’s hand’s and feet in Abohar and killing of two Dalit people, reportedly AAP supporters in Ludhiana of Punjab, he claimed, “the days of Akalis were numbered”.
If AAP comes to power after the Assembly polls next year, it will form a SIT to probe all these cases of atrocities on dalits and ensure justice to them, Kejriwal said.
He promised the “Delhi model of education” and alleged that the rulers of the state had “kept the condition of government schools dismal” so that children of the poor and Dalits could not progress.
“We will improve the condition of government schools within five years to impart quality education to Dalit children,” Kejriwal said.
Asking the gathering to contribute money, time and go door to door for AAP, he said one person should contact 200 other people to conveying AAP’s philosophy and seek vote for the party.
The Scheduled Caste leaders hailed Kejriwal’s promise to open a Skill University in name of Kanshi Ram in the state. Kanshi Ram’s nephew Lakhbir Singh also spoke on the occasion.
In Jalandhar, Kejriwal said if elected to power, AAP will form a special investigation team (SIT) to review the cases against Dalits.
“It has been noticed that many false cases were registered against Dalits and atrocities against the community could be gauged from the fact that hands of a Dalit were chopped off by an Akali leader as he refused to work under him,” Kejriwal told a gathering of Dalits.
The SIT would review “false” cases registered against Dalits.
He said education would be used as a tool by the AAP government to bring out Dalits from their plight.
Referring to the suicide by Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula of Hyderabad Central University, Kejriwal termed BJP as “anti-Dalit” party and said the circumstances were created by the Union government which forced Vemula to take the extreme step.
Kejriwal claimed BJP may withdraw reservation for Dalits anytime and that it was indicated by RSS “Whenever BJP will get chance it will try again to stop reservation. But I will prefer to die, but not allow BJP to rob the rights of Dalits,” he said.
He claimed 90 per cent of Dalits in Delhi voted for AAP.