Reacting to the recent attacks on Dalits in Mansa and Sangrur districts, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Punjab chief, Vijay Sampla, called up Punjab DGP Suresh Arora and demanded stringent action against the accused.
However, speaking to mediapersons later in the day, Sampla ruled out any caste angle to the deaths. He said that there were other extenuating factors , including personal enmity, which were behind the incidents.
Terming the incidents as unfortunate, Sampla said, “Both cases may have different social and regional antecedents, and they are being inquired into. I assure the victims will be provided justice at any cost”.
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Sampla’s remarks come in the backdrop of the gruesome murder of a Dalit youth in Gharangana village of Mansa and the fleeing of Dalit families from Jalaur village in Sangrur after last week’s violence.
Sampla also directed party vice-president Rajkumar Pathi and party general secretary Kewal Kumar to visit the aggrieved families in Sangrur and Mansa, respectively.
He asked both the leaders to prepare a report and help rebuild the confidence of the victims. “There is no question of any political shelter being provided to the accused due to their connections with senior political leaders,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sampla has dismissed the presence of Navjot Sidhu and his Awaaz-e-Punjab forum in the electoral scene in the state. “If Awaaze-e-Punjab will have some impact, it will only be in Ludhiana. Sidhu is a hi-fi leader who can only perform at a readymade platform and make some jokes. But he has nothing to offer otherwise. He is the kind of leader who can tell you the taste of a dish but cannot make any dish himself,” he said.
When asked if any decision had been arrived on swapping of certain seats with the SAD, the BJP chief said, “We are yet to decide on swapping of seats with Akalis. We also do not want to disclose many details as yet because there can be dissatisfaction in some quarters”.
Sampla said that while BJP may appear to fight on limited seats only but it had a pan-Punjab presence. “We have a hold on all 117 seats but we know how to honour the coalition dharma. We are not limited to 23 seats only. Our eventual mission is 117 seats jointly with SAD.This is not an alliance of two parties alone but this is also a social alliance which also aims at Hindu-Sikh unity,” Sampla said.
Commenting on the adverse public reaction to the evacuation of villages ordered in the state along border areas after the cross-LoC strike in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Sampla said the decision was taken as a precautionary measure. “The situation was tense and this action was required. What if something had happened? What if Pakistan had reacted in some manner? Eventually not many people left their homes,” he said.
The BJP chief also said efforts were on to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the function being held in Amritsar for the 50th anniversary of Punjabi Suba. “When the entire media was pointing out that Delhi’s ministers were abroad, almost at that point, the North Delhi mayor from BJP was abroad. The sheer lethargy of BJP-led MCD is matched by the political cynicism of the AAP. So it’s lethargy and indifference of one and cynicism and theatrics by the other.
“Delhi city stands at a point where it is desperately looking for an agenda for governance. Because the city has no governance. The governance in the city is a joke,” said Yadav.