July 16, 2021 11:59:57 pm
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday claimed that their government had never withdrawn the blasphemy case against the head of Sirsa Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, while speaking to the media in Jalandhar.
He then said that the case was withdrawn when the election code of conduct was in place in 2017 and there were talks that the Congress might form the next government in the state.
“Apna record check karo, asin koi case vapis nahin leya (Check your record, we never withdrew any case against him). Just two days before the polls it (the case) was withdrawn. But it was never done in our tenure,” he said.
Friday’s press conference was held by the SAD to announce that the Democratic Party of India (DPI) President, Parshottam Lal Chaddha, had offered unconditional support to the SAD-BSP alliance. Apart from Sukhbir, the event was attended by BSP leader Dr Nashattar Pal.
A case against Sirsa Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was registered in 2007 following his address to a congregation of his followers dressed like Guru Gobind Singhji at Salabatpura in Bathinda. The then SAD-BJP government never arrested the Dera Chief and the Punjab Police had in 2012 filed a cancellation report of the blasphemy FIR in a Bathinda court.
When pressed on whether the SAD has any regrets over taking the blasphemy case back, Sukhbir told the media that he wanted to clarify that they had never taken the case back, stopped taking further questions on the matter.
On the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib, which happened under the SAD-BJP regime, Sukhbir said that the case had been handed over to the CBI and four-and-a-half years of investigations later neither any Akali leader nor he had been named in the case as ‘a lie is always a lie.’
Interacting with the media, Sukhbir Singh Badal also said, “Our aim is to bring all sections of the society — farmers, poor, labourers, and traders — under one platform.”
Asked about Navjot Singh Sidhu being probably named as the Punjab Congress chief, Sukhbir claimed that Sidhu had all along been working to topple Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and had done nothing for the welfare of Punjabis.
“Show me one achievement of Sidhu as a minister”, he asked.
Commenting on the AAP, he said that Arvind Kejriwal’s government in Delhi is standing on lies. The SAD president said that if Kejriwal was really serious about implementing the 300 units free power promise in Punjab, then he should first implement the same in Delhi.
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