Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh Saturday demanded the immediate arrest of SAD legislator Virsa Singh Valtoha for his alleged ‘casteist slur’ against senior leader and MLA Tarlochan Singh Soond inside the Vidhan Sabha. He also announced that the party would stage statewide protests at block level Sunday to protest the incident.
Amarinder, who was accompanied by AICC in-charge for Punjab Asha Kumari, Campaign Committee Chairperson Ambika Soni, AICC Secretary Harish Chaudhary and Tarlochan Soond, Saturday alleged that Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal, despite being a Dalit and all other Dalit Akali and BJP MLAs had turned a deaf ear to the incident.
“If anyone else would have made such remarks, he would have been immediately arrested, why not Valtoha?”, he asked. The Punjab Congress chief also wondered as how the Speaker had dismissed Soond’s complaint summarily without orderign an inquiry. “ He did not rule out the tampering of the Vidhan Sabha recording at the behest of the Akalis as the Speaker had already taken a blatantly biased side in their favour,” he said.
The PCC chief said that while nobody shall approve hurling a shoe at anyone, what happened in the Vidhan Sabha was the reaction to a provocation and anguish of a community against “castiest and criminal intimidation resorted” by people like Valtoha. Amarinder alleged that people like Valtoha were being deliberately propped up by the Badals to intimidate Dalits and other minorities. The former chief minister also apprehended ‘violent elections’ in the state, alleging that the Akali government has introduced “easy parole norms for criminals”, thus giving way to many active criminal gangs.
“The presence of over 50 organised criminal gangs and the government’s decision to make parole easy, are dangerous signs ahead of elections,” he said.