Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Monday trashed Sukhbir Singh Badal’s remarks on Rajiv Gandhi as a conspiracy to incite and divide the Sikh community by defaming the late former Prime Minister.
Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal had tweeted Sunday: “Shame on @capt_amarinder, who calls himself CM of Punjab but is little more than @INCIndia stooge. How can he celebrate b’day of #RajivGandhi whose hands are stained with the blood thousands of innocent Sikhs? He needs to stop this cowardice if being a Sikh means anything to him.”
Slamming Sukhbir Badal for the ‘brazen falsehoods’ unleashed on the eve of Rajiv Gandhi’s 75th birth anniversary, the Chief Minister said that Rajiv Gandhi’s name never came up during or after the 1984 riots, and was being propped by the BJP and the Akalis in a desperate bid to garner Sikh votes.
“By repeatedly lying about the issue, they have been trying to manipulate the facts, which clearly showed that Rajiv Gandhi was in no way complicit in the events that followed the tragic assassination of his mother, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in 1984,” the Chief Minister said.
The fact was that Rajiv Gandhi was not in Bihar and had heard of his mother’s death on radio, recalled Amarinder Singh while lashing out at Sukhbir Badal for trying to mislead the people of Punjab by feeding them outright lies on the issue.
“They (the Akalis) claim to be protectors of the Sikh community, but did nothing for Sikhs during 10 years of ruling the state,” the Chief Minister said in a statement, adding that under their (BJP-SAD) regime, Punjab witnessed some of the worst incidents of sacrilege, which they did nothing to either prevent or solve.
The attack on Rajiv Gandhi just ahead of his birth anniversary was just another attempt by the Akalis to cover up their own acts of omission and commission, Amarinder Singh added.
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