Badals evading responsibility on Bluestar memorial: Capt

Ridiculing Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal’s statement that the government had nothing to do with the Operation Bluestar memorial being set up by SGPC in Amritsar,Congress on Thursday lashed out at him,accusing him of lying and evading responsibility on the issue.

Written by Express News Service | Ludhiana/jalandhar | Published: June 8, 2012 12:32:36 am

Ridiculing Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal’s statement that the government had nothing to do with the Operation Bluestar memorial being set up by SGPC in Amritsar,Congress on Thursday lashed out at him,accusing him of lying and evading responsibility on the issue.

“If that be the case both Sukhbir and his father should explain their position on the memorial and Balwant Singh Rajoana whom they have declared the Zinda Shaheed (living martyr),” state Congress president,Capt Amarinder Singh told reporters here.

Stating that it was typical of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to be running with the hare and hunting with the hounds,Amarinder alleged that CM’s double standards were exposed as on the one hand he had given his “approval” to setting up the memorial and was maintaining silence on the issue on the other while his son (Sukhbir) was trying to run away from the issue.

“Who does not know that the SGPC and Akal Takht are controlled by the Badals only,” he said,while asking,“is it possible that the SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar will do anything without their (the Badals’) knowledge?”

Sukhbir,who is also president of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal,had distanced himself from the construction of the memorial at Amritsar telling reporters here yesterday that the government had nothing to do with the project.

The Sikh high priests had on Wednesday bestowed the title of Zinda Shaheed at Amritsar on Balwant Singh Rajoana,convicted in the assassination case of former Punjab CM,Beant Singh,on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of Operation Bluestar at the Akal Takht,the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs.

The memorial is being set up in the memory of those killed at the Golden Temple during Operation Bluestar,a military operation ordered by the Indira Gandhi government to flush out Sikh separatists allegedly using the complex as a hideout.

Alleging clear designs behind the move,Amarinder said,“It is characteristic style of Badal to create controlled-destabilization in the state to retain his relevance in some way or the other. Otherwise what is the logic of setting up a memorial after 28 years,” he asked.

Reiterating that Rajoana was a “terrorist” who had killed Beant Singh,he condemned the Akalis for “glorifying and making a hero out of him.”

“He is a killer and he should be treated as such and not as a hero as Akalis are trying to make him for vested interests only,” he asserted.

Amarinder was also accompanied by local MP and Congress spokesman,Manish Tewari,Congress Legislative Party leader Sunil Jakhar and other leaders from the State.

Bluestar memorial anti-national: BJP

The BJP,which is part of the ruling alliance in Punjab,on Thursday opposed the construction of Operation Bluestar Memorial in Amritsar,terming it “anti-national”.

While senior BJP leader Balbir Punj termed the move as “anti-national”,party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the people of Punjab should not be distracted by such things and move forward instead.

Their reaction came a day after SAD chief and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal — after initially supporting the project — distanced himself and the state government from its construction of the memorial.

“Let Punjab move forward and not be distracted. Khalistan was a Pakistani agenda to divide India vis-a-vis Punjab. Thanks to the valour of Punjab which fought the fundamentalists and extremists in the state. Let no one embolden Pakistan,which has even lost the proxy war. People of Punjab have rejected the Congress and chosen the path of development instead,” said Rudy.

‘Stay away from panthic matters’

JALANDHAR: Responding to criticism of the Operation Bluestar memorial by the Congress and BJP,the Dal Khalsa on Thursday urged the two national parties,to stay away from Panthic matters. The Khalsa also slammed Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal claiming his attitude to the memorial was opportunistic. Lashing out at statements,by the BJP and Congress,that the memorial in the Darbar Sahib complex was “a threat to peace”, Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said the “bogey of threat to peace was being raised by those very sections that were instrumental in stoking the fire in the state during the early 80’s”. “Such leaders are hurting the Sikh sentiments by,” he said,adding that the memorial paid respect to those who laid down their lives for the Panth.

He advised SAD president Sukhbir not to indulge in “characteristic opportunism”. “He should not forget that it was the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) that had first passed a resolution on October 7,1984 for raising this memorial.”

Peace memorial mooted

Chandigarh: With the SGPC and the Damdami Taksal beginning the construction of a memorial for those who died in Operation Bluestar,a group of eminent citizens,have come together and proposed the construction of “ “Peace Memorial” in Punjab. Thier petition states that the Punjab suffered indescribable hardship,trauma and agony in the wake of events culminating in Operation Bluestar. “The Peace Memorial shall epitomize our collective aspiration for peace building,brotherhood and progress.”

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