A day after former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal alleged political witch-hunt and offered his arrest in police firing probe, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on Friday warned Badal against persistently indulging in theatrics, adding that these would not help him regain the lost political ground for the Akalis.
Badal had on Thursday said he was ready to face arrest in order to put a stop to the “high drama being enacted in the name of a probe” into the Kot Kapura and Behbal Kalan incidents.
His comment had come a day after the Punjab CM said that some “high-profile” persons of the state could face action in the police firing incidents.
Ridiculing Badal’s dramatic challenge, Singh said it was another piece of drama from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader, who was finding himself cornered on the issue of the sacrilege cases in the backdrop of the findings of the Ranjit Singh Commission.
“Why is he (Badal) so rattled if he has nothing to hide,” said Singh, pointing out that the former CM was in the habit of indulging in theatrics, especially when faced with an uncomfortable situation.
Pointing out that he had never mentioned Badal or anyone else, for that matter, in connection with the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura firing incidents and desecration of Guru Granth Sahib, the CM wondered if Badal’s reaction was a case of guilty conscience rising to the fore.
Rejecting the Akali patron’s allegation of a political witch-hunt by his government, Amarinder said such shameful and petty tactics were the domain of the Akalis, and the Congress leadership had never believed in indulging in such acts.
He reiterated his sustained stand that he would not engage in political vendetta, and would allow the law to take its own course.
The SIT probing the firing incidents had been set up on a decision to this effect in the Assembly, the CM observed, adding that it was a completely independent entity, with no interference whatsoever from the government.
“Who to call for questioning or whom to arrest was the prerogative of the SIT, which did not function as a puppet to the government, unlike the way systems worked under the Badal regime,” said Amarinder.
The CM said that his government has clarified, time and again, that anyone found guilty of killing innocent people in these firings would not be spared, whatever his position or political standing.
“If Badal had interpreted that as a threat to him, then it could only mean that he was afraid of what might come out of the SIT investigations,” Singh said.
“It was time the Akalis stopped behaving like small-time goons, creating a ruckus over non-issues and resorting to drama to stay in public limelight, and started operating like a responsible opposition,” added the CM.
He said the people of Punjab were not fools and could see through the antics of the Akalis, led by Badal, who were only showing their desperation in the face of an imminent Lok Sabha defeat with such capers.