Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP) president Sukhpal Singh Khaira Monday attacked the Aam Admi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal for not saying a word on drug menace and sacrilege issue in Punjab and instead calling a public rally to announce that party leader Bhagwant Mann had quit drinking.
“No serious discussion related to Punjab took place at the rally. It seemed to be ‘Sharab Chhaddao’ rally of Mann,” Khaira said. “That was a personal decision and such an announcement is not made in presence of thousands of people. It should not be meant to seek votes”.
Mann revealed on Sunday that he had given up drinking on his mother’s advice. He said he had given up drinking as of January 1 and hoped to stay firm on his resolve for the rest of his life. Mann, who is often criticised by political opponents for “excessive drinking”, earned high praise from Kejriwal for giving up alcohol. Khaira said Mann’s announcement from the rally proved that he had been lying about his drinking habit.
“It means that he used to lie that he never took liquor. It also means that Mann was drunk when he went to Bargari in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib,” Khaira said. Questioning the Delhi CM’s silence on bigger issues plaguing Punjab, Khaira said, “He came to Punjab after two years and did not utter a word on sacrilege issue, farmers’ suicides, drug problem, unemployment. He is hand in glove with Bikram Majithia and Bhagwant Mann which is why he has chosen not to say anything”
Kejriwal on Sunday launched his party’s campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls by addressing a rally at Barnala, where he blamed SAD president Sukhbir Badal for the drug menace. “Today, Punjab is sinking because of drugs. In the last state elections, Mann fought against Sukhbir because he felt that SAD leader was responsible for the situation Punjab was in. Today, Sukhbir is responsible for drugs in Punjab,” Kejriwal had alleged.
Khaira also accused Kejriwal of being “greedy” for posts. “The real greedy man for posts is Kejriwal who is having three positions — one of Chief Minister, second AAP supremo and third is chairman of party’s political affairs committee,” he said.
The PEP leader, meanwhile, said that he has written a letter to Kunwar Vijay Pratap, the police officer heading the SIT into sacrilege and Behbal Kalan firing incidents, bringing to his notice the allegations of torture at the hands of police by several people.
“Several people have claimed that they were subjected to third degree torture at different police stations, CIA staff premises and some times even at the private residential quarters of police officers. The said police brutality and torture was inflicted upon them beginning December 2015, after the submission of Justice Zora Singh commission report to the government,” he said.
Khaira urged Pratap that criminal sections be slapped on erring police officers responsible for torture by registering FIR’s against them and they be arrested immediately. “FIR be also registered against Sukhbir Badal for having ordered the brutal torture of Rupinder Singh, his brother Jaswinder Singh and others and forcing them to wrongfully confess being culprits of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib,”
He also demanded that Justice Zora Singh be also proceeded against lawfully for having got these innocents tortured “through his bogus findings”.
To a question on contesting the Lok Sabha polls, he said he cannot unilaterally make such an announcement.
Khaira said the decision in this regard will be taken by the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA).