October 15, 2021 5:59:07 am
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal, along with other senior leaders of the party, on Thursday, courted arrest after holding a prolonged sit-in close to a barricaded Raj Bhawan to protest against the Centre’s move to give the BSF additional jurisdiction in Punjab.
A SAD spokesperson said that the sit-in was held “in solidarity with Punjabis who are affronted by the manner in which Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had colluded and surrendered in front of the Centre, which had extended control over law order across half of the state.”
The SAD president courted arrest and was taken in a bus, along with senior leaders and workers, to the Sector-3 police station. The Akali workers, after their arrest, raised slogans against the Congress and the BJP for “hatching an anti-Punjab conspiracy”. They were later let off by the police.
On Thursday, Sukhbir was stopped by the police while he tried marching towards the Raj Bhawan. Blocked by police barricades, Sukhbir decided to address party workers from the spot and said, “This is the second time that the Centre has impinged on the rights of Punjab in quick succession. The Centre has discriminated against the farmers of the state by bringing in three farm laws. Now it is effectively taking control over law and order over half of the state by extending the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF).”
Terming the move as “an attack on the federal structure of the state”, he said, “Now even our holy shrines — like Sri Darbar Sahab, Durgiana Mandir, and Ram Tirath — will come under the control of Central forces. The SAD will fight to right this wrong as we stand for a genuine federal structure. It is condemnable that the Chief Minister agreed to this anti-Punjab step during his meeting with the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, on October 5. Channi has sold off the interests of the state just to secure a few more months in office.”
Taking a jibe at Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister, Sukhjinder Randhawa, Sukhbir further added that due to the extended jurisdiction of the BSF, the home of Randhawa had also come under the jurisdiction of the BSF.
Badal junior further said, “Earlier also Punjab had been discriminated against with the Congress government taking away its river waters. A few years earlier, we even lost control of the revenue generated by us with the introduction of the GST regime. Now even our land and its policing are being taken away from us.”
“Punjab is yet to reject the latest move,” he said while assuring Punjabis that “once a SAD-BSP alliance government was formed in the state, the new move will be made null and void.”
Akali leader and former minister, Bikram Singh Majithia, said “The Centre’s new move had reminded people of the dark days of militancy when Central forces held full sway in the state”. “Sukhjinder Randhawa had as Jails Minister supported this measure by stating that the control of jails should be given to the CRPF,” he said.
Former MD of Labourfed rejoins SAD
Former Labourfed Managing Director, Parvinder Singh Sohana, on Thursday, rejoined SAD along with several senior leaders of the area. Sohana and his team — including former block samiti member, Amarjit Singh Mauli, Namberdar Baljit Singh Dairi, ex-chairman of Land Mortgage Bank, Manmohan Singh, and Namberdar, Karmjit Singh — were welcomed back into the SAD by Sukhbir Badal. Sukhbir assured Sohana and the others that they would be given “due honour and recognition in the SAD.”
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