The Punjab Congress on Wednesday lambasted at Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal and his wife and Union Minister Harsmirat Kaur for their comments on Rahul Gandhi on the 1984 riots and drugs issues.
In a joint statement, Congress leaders said the attack mounted on Rahul by the SAD leaders came close on the heels of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) desperate attempt to counter the well substantiated charges made by the Congress leader against it.
Led by Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar, the leaders stated that Sukhbir and Harsmirat were clearly trying to come to the rescue of the rattled BJP, which was completely cornered by Rahul’s hard-hitting and on-the-face criticism of the party’s undemocratic functioning and sweeping failure on all major counts.
“The Badals seemed to have forgotten that their attempt to rake up the 1984 riots issue during the Punjab assembly polls, held earlier this year, had completely backfired, with the people seeing through the devious efforts of the BJP-SAD combine to divert public attention from the prevailing situation in the state”, said the Punjab Congress leaders.
The leaders added that despite the rampant prevalence of drugs in Punjab, the Badals had tried unsuccessfully to negate the existence of the critical problem. “The Akalis themselves had been responsible for the terrorist bloodshed in the wake of Operation Blue Star, with Parkash Singh Badal hobnobbing with extremists during Punjab’s worst crisis”, they added.
The Punjab Congress leaders accused SAD for the widespread drugs menace in the state. They accused SAD of having allowed the drugs mafia to flourish unchecked in the past 10 years of their shameful misrule. The Punjab Congress leaders said Sukhbir’s and Harsmirat’s remarks in response to Rahul’s speech smacked of sheer desperation to help BJP save its face against the onslaught unleashed by Rahul, whose fact-filled speech was a total contrast to the senseless replies of BJP leaders.