Alleging “criminal conspiracy” by Congress leadership to silence opposition leaders in “an attempt” to end democracy in the civic polls in Punjab, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal on Sunday dared the Amarinder government to arrest him, “anytime, anywhere instead of acting like cowards and carrying oppression against ordinary Akali workers”.
The Punjab police have booked several Akali leaders, including MLAs, in connection with dharnas across the state where SAD alleged high-handedness by Congressmen in the run-up to civic polls.
“The government is resorting to ‘goondagardi’ and repression to suppress democratic opposition and distract attention from their betrayal of the Punjabis on the tall promises made to them. But we will force this Congress government to be accountable to the people,” Sukhbir told mediapersons Sunday afternoon after a meeting of the SAD core committee.
Sukhbir said SAD would file a petition “in which also we will give evidence against officers and politicians by name and with conclusive evidence, and request the court that complaints against the accused be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as no one had any faith left in the state law enforcing agencies”.“We have a foolproof case against the guilty officers and leaders and against their unlawful activities as well as conspiratorial nexus for questionable motives,” Sukhbir said.
He said that “a cell” has been created in the party head office which would act as “Vigilance Authority” and keep records of government officials and officers including the police “who are violating the rule of law for repression against Akali workers.”
“When we form the government, we will hand over these cases to a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court for expeditious disposal and punishment to the guilty,” he said. “I dare this government to arrest me. But, the government is in for a shock even from these brave workers each one of whom carries the legacy of Taksali Akali courage and spirit of selfless sacrifice. We are inspired by history of defiance against the Mughals, the British and the repressive Congress rule at the Centre and the State. No Akali will bow before these repressors. But if the government has courage, let them act like grown-ups and fight it out with me and my colleagues,” Sukhbir said.