Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday claimed that the incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in the state were “handiwork of those forces which wanted to disturb its hard-earned peace”.
Badal was talking to reporters after paying floral tributes to Sawinder Kaur Kahlon, wife of former Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon, on her first death anniversary. He, while expressing ‘deep concern’ over the ‘unfortunate’ incident, said that some forces, “wary of the peace and progress of Punjab”, were continuously perpetuating such incidents.
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He said the state government was “duty-bound” to nab the culprits and put them behind the bars. Badal said his government was committed to promoting the “ethos of peace, communal harmony and brotherhood” and the “nefarious designs of these fissiparous forces” would be thwarted at any cost.
Replying to a query, he said his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal’s visit to the state would “hardly have any effect on the state polity”.
He said the people of the state were wise enough to judge friends and foes, adding that they would only support the ruling SAD-BJP alliance, which was the “true custodian of the interests of Punjab and its people”.
“Kejriwal is free to come and go but it will hardly help improve his party’s fortune in Punjab as the people are solidly behind the alliance,” Badal said.
Replying to another query, he said Punjab was the “only rightful owner” of Chandigarh and the river waters of the state, adding that as per “universally accepted principles”, Haryana had no right over either.
Badal said every new state, carved out of another, had developed its own capital. So, Haryana had no right over Chandigarh, adding that as per riparian principles, it could not even claim “a drop of river water” from Punjab.
Describing the SAD-BJP alliance as “firm and everlasting”, he said it would contest the 2017 Assembly polls together, adding that any meeting on seat-sharing was yet to take place and the two alliance partners would take a call on it at “an appropriate time”.
Badal said the poll plank of the combine in the Assembly polls would be “communal harmony, peace and development”.