Published in Punjab News
Chandigarh June 17, 2013 (YP Bureau)
The Shiromani Akali Dal today rubbished the PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa’s demand for a Memorial in Punjab to commemorate the cycle of violence let loose in the state as a result of the conspiratorial politics of the then Congress governments at the center and state, describing the Congress demand as nothing more than “ a malicious and politically motivated attempt to ridicule the deep hurt caused to the Sikh sentiments by the brutal outrage at Harmandar Sahib in June 1984.”
“It is ironical that a party widely identified with murderers, looters, rioters and killers both in and outside Punjab during a decade and half long violence should be asking for a peace memorial to commemorate its sins and crimes against humanity in general and the people of Punjab in particular. Mr. Bajwas should in fact ask the Government of India to set up a “Repentance Meomrial” for introspection by then rulers all of whom belonged to the Congress party, and their successors ” said the SAD Secretary General Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa in a statement here.
“And what are Mr. Bajwas’s personal views and feelings about Operation Bluestar? Does he justify it even after independent and respected voices in the country, including senior commanders of the army who took part in it have described it as “wrong and unnecessary?” asked Mr. Dhindsa. The Akali leader advised Mr. Bajwa to ask his party’s High Command to travel en masse to the Golden Temple to offer apologies and prayers for the outrage committed there in the form of Operation Bluestar and also for its countless crimes against humanity in general and the and the Sikhs and Punjabis in particular, culminating in the massacre of innocents in Delhi and several other parts of the country.
Mr. Dhindsa recalled that the SGPC had already clarified that the memorial at Harmandar Sahib will serve as an abode for prayers for peace and communal harmony and for seeking the blessings of the almighty \against the recurrence of such traumatic events in future. Mr. Bajwa and his party should desist from communalizing the memorial.
The SAD leader said that it was shocking that the Congress party and its government in Delhi are working through their stooges to oppose a memorial to mark the traumatic days of Novemebr of 1984 when senior and well placed leaders of the Congress party “openly and unabashedly” led mobs goons, lumpens, killers and looters to torch entire Sikh dominated colonies, burning alive thousands of innocent Sikh men, women and children for no fault of theirs. Mr. Dhindsa asked Mr. Bajwa to clarify his stand on the massacre of innocent Sikhs throughout the country but especially in the national capital. He should also explain why his party and its governments in the states of Delhi, Punjab and at the center have shielded and even patronized the known and well identified guilty men of 1984.
Lashing out against the PPCC stand against the visit of Mr. Narendra Modi to Punjab, the SAD Secretary General said , “If the main reason behind Mr. Bajwa’s objection t the visit lies in the riots in Gujrat, does he have any moral right to even continue to be a member of the Congress party which is known to be guilty of a far worse massacre against his own community and those belonging to his state? What is Mr. Bajwa doing in the Congress as PPCC to ensure punishment t the guilty of 1984? Why these double standards? “Mr. Dhindsa asked Mr. Bajwa.
Published in Punjab News
Chandigarh, June 17, 2013 (YP Bureau)
Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Monday reiterated his demand for raising a peace memorial in Punjab in honour of thousands of innocent people who died during militancy.
While addressing a press conference here, Bajwa said chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had been raising memorials, with the help of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in Amritsar and of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) in Delhi.
"First, Badal supported a Bluestar memorial at Harmandar Sahib in Amritsar and recently, a 1984 genocide memorial at Gurdwara Rakabganj in Delhi. I want to ask Badal why can't he help in raising a peace memorial in Punjab in memory of nearly 25,000 to 30,000 people who had died during terrorism in the state which lasted for nearly 15 years," said Bajwa, who was accompanied by Congress MLA Charanjit Singh Channi, former MLA Harminder Singh Jassi and Congress spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira.
Bajwa said Badal had already turned down the idea of raising the peace memorial saying it would disturb peace in the state.
"Badal should call an all-party meet at the earliest to take views of all political parties of Punjab on the issue of raising the peace memorial. How can a peace memorial built in memory of innocent people who died during terrorism disturb the peace of the state? asked Bajwa.
He said the BJP should also make its stand clear on the issue.
Bajwa criticised Badal for supporting Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. "Modi is communal and anti-minority. The Janata Dal (U) has already snapped ties with the NDA after Modi's elevation. The SAD and Shiv Sena are the only political parties which are still part of the NDA," said Bajwa.
Bajwa said Modi was spearheading his poll campaign from Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir from June 23. "There is a grand design behind the move to divide both the border states, which are predominantly inhabited by the minority communities, on communal lines. "Modi will vitiate the peace of these states with his divisive political agenda," said Bajwa.
Credit for freight corridor
Bajwa sought credit for the Kolkata-Amritsar freight corridor, announced by the union government. "I had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2010 and also raised the issue in Parliament. Though chief minister Parkash Singh Badal wants to take credit for this, he has not made any efforts towards this," Bajwa said while showing the copy of his parliament speech in this regard.
'No money coming for investment'
Bajwa challenged deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to show if any new investment was coming to Punjab after he unveiled the new industrial policy recently. "In fact, the existing industrial units are already shifting base to Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and even to Gujarat. I challenge Sukhbir to show me any new investment coming to Punjab on the basis of the new industrial policy," said Bajwa.
*HT Media Ltd.
By Imran Khan
Patna, June 16 (Agency)
Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) ended its 17-year-old alliance with the BJP Sunday after days of simmering tensions, marking a major split in the country's main opposition grouping.
In a bitter end to weeks of feuding, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told Governor D.Y. Patil to sack all the 11 BJP ministers in his government for not working and vowed to prove his majority in the assembly Wednesday.
Simultaneously, JD-U president Sharad Yadav announced he was quitting as convenor of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
"We are not responsible for ending the alliance. We are pushed to this situation so as not to compromise with our basic principles," Nitish Kumar said here. "We don't care for the repercussion, we are not worried."
The JD-U, one of the oldest allies of the BJP, is the 14th party to desert the NDA, which was born in 1998 and ruled India for six years under the leadership of the now ailing Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The JD-U's departure forced BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi to demand Nitish Kumar's resignation while Sushma Swaraj called the divorce "sad and unfortunate".
"The JD-U is formally out of NDA and we have ended our alliance with the BJP," Yadav told a press conference also attended by Nitish Kumar.
Both stated they would not dilute the party's "basic principles" -- a political euphemism to mean they would never accept a BJP seemingly led by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The fissures between the BJP and JD-U were triggered by Nitish Kumar's opposition to Modi and the BJP decision to make the Gujarat strongman its public face in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. (..Contd.)
“We were forced to end our alliance with the BJP in view of some latest development that put us in a difficult situation and so as not to compromise with our basic principles,” Yadav said.
He sought to draw a line between a Modi-driven BJP and BJP stars Vajpayee and L.K. Advani, pointing out that the JD-U alliance with the NDA was based on a national agenda forged during the Vajpayee-Advani era.
”Now it seems the BJP is trying to bring controversial issues like the Ram temple into its agenda," he said, referring to the raging temple row of Ayodhya that the BJP had put on the backburner for years.
The BJP hit back. Sushil Modi asked Nitish Kumar to resign on moral grounds.
"He was elected as head of the NDA in Bihar when he was made the chief minister. Now that he is no more an NDA leader, he has no moral right to continue."
Sushil Modi, once considered close to Nitish Kumar, said the JD-U decision was "a black letter day".
In Kanpur, BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said his party won't go back on the decision to make Narendra Modi its election campaign chief.
"Whatever decision has been taken on Narendra Modi, we will not go back at any cost, whether the NDA alliance breaks once or 10 times."
Earlier Sunday, Nitish Kumar called on the governor and said he wanted all BJP ministers out of his ministry as they had stopped attending office.
"This situation cannot continue. Ministers are meant to work. Such a situation is not acceptable," he said, adding he had called for a special session of the assembly Wednesday to prove his majority.
The JD-U has 118 seats in the 243-member assembly, only four short of majority, while the BJP has 91 members. There are six independents in the assembly while the Congress has four members.
The BJP has accused the JD-U of trying to poach its legislators.