April 20, 2021 11:09:43 am
Responding to senior Advocate H S Phoolka’s letter urging him to ask for a special session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to discuss lack of action in Guru Granth Sahib desecration and Behbal Kalan firing cases, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has said that the need of the hour is to ensure that the state’s Home Minister/Chief Minister is jolted into discharging his duties regarding these cases. The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, also holds the Home portfolio in the state government.
Referring to Phoolka’s call for a special session of the state Assembly in an open letter addressed to him Sunday, Sidhu said that people of the state should not be misled with such sessions just as everyone had been misled the previous time when such a special session was called.
“As per the Constitution, only the executive of the state, i.e the Home Minister has the authority to issue orders regarding FIRs and arrests of individuals,” said Sidhu.
He further told Phoolka that while the Vidhan Sabha is the supreme authority for making laws concerning the state and is also responsible for making executive responsible towards discharging its duties, it is the job of the Home Minister of state to ensure action on FIRs, formation of SIT, further legal action and arrests.
“It is your thinking that giving resignation can be a way of forcing some solution but I feel that you can change the system only by remaining within the system and not by quitting. We should ensure that the person holding the entire powers of executive of the state (Home Minister/Chief Minister) should be jolted to make him discharge his responsibilities,” said Sidhu.
The former Cabinet minister went on to say that in the 27 months that he had been part of the Cabinet, he had time and again raised the issue of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in the Cabinet meetings and demanded justice in the cases. He also said that he raised the issue of drugs in the Cabinet too as both these issues were very important for the people of the state.
“In 2019 Lok Sabha elections while campaigning for the Congress in a seat as important as Bathinda, I had said that justice must be done in the cases of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib and that I can quit everything and suffer blows from the people of Punjab but I will not be a culprit before the Guru Granth Sahib,” said Sidhu.
He went on to say that he had demanded that those political personalities who had ordered the firing on devotees and those who took political decisions regarding all these incidents must be given exemplary punishments. “It was because of this that my portfolio in the Cabinet was changed and I chose to resign from the ministership because no position is bigger than respect for Guru Granth Sahib,” said Sidhu.
Earlier, on Baisakhi day at Gurdwara Burj Jawahar, Sidhu had demanded that the STF report on drugs by IPS officer Harpreet Singh Sidhu and the SIT report on Kotkapura firing by IG Kunwar Vijay should be made public.
He had followed up this statement by blaming the state government for having ‘botched’ the two probes and alleging that the people of Punjab felt cheated that the Congress government has not lived up to its promises of taking action against those responsible for the desecration of drugs trade, the police firing cases and the big political names involved in the drugs trade.
Sidhu also tweeted Sunday asking why were the real decision makers behind the police firing, the then Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal not arrested.
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