Panthic groups protest at Badal village, Sukhbir calls them Congress agentshttps://indianexpress.com/elections/panthic-groups-protest-at-badal-village-sukhbir-calls-them-congress-agents-5718350/

Panthic groups protest at Badal village, Sukhbir calls them Congress agents

Calling the protesters ‘Khalistani Congressmen’, SAD chief Sukhbir Badal claimed that they had been brought to Badal with police escort. He questioned how over 100 protesters, armed with wooden sticks and carrying kirpans, were allowed to reach the spot.

Panthic groups protest at Badal village, Sukhbir calls them Congress agents
Dharna by panthic organisations outside Parkash singh Badal’s house in Badal village on Wednesday. (Express photo by Gurmeet Singh)

Panthic outfits staged a dharna for over two hours outside the house of former CM Parkash Singh Badal at village Badal Wednesday. The sit-in protest came at the end of a ‘rosh march’ (protest march) from Bargari to Badal village — covering Bajakhana, Goniana Mandi, Naruana and Bathinda city area.

Calling the protesters ‘Khalistani Congressmen’, SAD chief Sukhbir Badal claimed that they had been brought to Badal with police escort. He questioned how over 100 protesters, armed with wooden sticks and carrying kirpans, were allowed to reach the spot.

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The vehicles that moved from Bargari to Badal village carried posters saying ‘Rosh March against Bargari, Behbal Kalan incident’. Earlier, leaders behind the Bargari Morcha had moved in different directions due to differences over calling off the Bargari protest, but on Wednesday they all were once again on a common platform to ask people to vote against the Badals, calling them ‘pand de doshi’. But the split in the Bargari factions showed itself over allowing Baljit Singh Daduwal, parallel Jathedar of Sarbat Khalsa, to address protesters outside Badals’ house.

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Sukhjit Singh Khosa, member of Guru Granth Sahib Satkar Committee, urged that Daduwal should not be allowed to speak after which supporters of both leaders had a scuffle at the spot. Finally, Daduwal was not allowed to speak.

Before the scuffle, Daduwal had told mediapersons,”There were hundreds of protestors in vehicles and our protest has one agenda ‘Badal Bhajao, Punjab Bachao’. All organisations have come under a common platform and you can call it a protest against Badals by the entire panth.”

Gurdeep Singh Bathinda, general secretary of United Akali Dal said that they stopped before the barricade outside Badal’s house and protested in a peaceful manner. A Dhadhi Jatha had also been called for kirtan. The next protest march will be on May 14 in Ferozepur constituency from Ferozepur city to Jalalabad.

Sukhbir faces farmers’ protest

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal also faced a protest in Mansa districts’s village Bhainibagha where kisan unions protested against him. Sukhbir left the meeting venue after hurriedly completing his speech. Kisan Unions showed him black flags. Farmers claimed that his supporters did not allow them to ask questions about the Swaminathan report.

About the protest at Badal village, Sukhbir said: “Baljeet Singh Daduwal is the blue-eyed boy of Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh. This is government-sponsored protest.”

In a statement, Sukhbir called Daduwal as B-team of anti-Sikh Congress party and the protesters “paid agents of Congress”. He stated that full responsibility of the consequences of any such provocative misadventure by the Congress in future also would rest squarely with CM.

Dismissing the charges, Daduwal said: “They have looted Punjab and hence they must face protests. We will first act against Badals and later against Congress on other issues.”