Chandigarh: Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has strongly condemned the hurling of a shoe at Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in Lambi and appealed to Punjabis to shun elements who want to destroy the peaceful fabric of Punjab.
“I appeal to Punjabis to remain calm and give a befitting answer to miscreants by voting for Badal Sahab to lead them again,” she told reporters at Budhlada town in Mansa yesterday.
“Miscreants who want to destroy hard won peace can never succeed in this endeavour. I condemn the cowardly attack on the most respected politician and appeal to Punjabis to shun elements who want to destroy Punjab’s peaceful fabric,” she said.
Harsimrat also hit out at AAP senior leader and MP Bhagwant Mann, dubbing him as a “joker”.She accused AAP of egging people to resort to violence ahead of the state Assembly polls pn February 4.
The Bathinda MP was referring to the shoe hurling incident in Ratta Khera village of Lambi Assembly segment yesterday and another incident in which the cavalcade of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal was attacked in Jalalabad Assembly segment in Fazilka on January 8.
Without naming anyone, a furious Harsimrat said, “Inanoon sochan di lod hain ki jey kithe Badal sahib ne Akaliyaan nu keh dita ki inade khilaf daang chak lo, inanu muhn dikhaun ki yeah zinda rehan de layak nahi rehange (they need to think if Badal sir tells Akali workers to pick up sticks against them, let alone showing their faces to anyone, they will not be able to live)”.
However in a Facebook post today, the minister sought to charge the media with “sensationalism”.”I appeal to the media not to sensationalise my statements. I have stressed that Badal Sahab always stands for exercising restraint but the exact opposition has been reported by a newspaper which has chosen to twist part of the statement,” she said.
“I again reiterate that Badal Sahab has always stood for peace and communal harmony and so does the Shiromani Akali Dal,” Harsimrat said.
Meanwhile, state Congress chief Amarinder Singh today strongly condemned Harsimrat’s “provocative remarks” and warned the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) as well as Aam Aadmi Party against “inciting violence”, saying any such move would not only backfire but would also cause irrevocable damage to the state. Urging restraint in the run-up to the Assembly polls, Amarinder also urged the Election Commission to take serious note of such statements and initiate stern action to crack down on all disruptive elements to prevent the Punjab elections from spiralling into a vortex of violence.
“The series of clashes between AAP and SAD workers in the past few days endorse my worst fears about Punjab heading for a violent election,” he said. “Instead of instigating party workers, Harsmirat should try to defuse the situation by urging them to stay calm,” the former Chief Minister said, adding radical elements would otherwise get the opportunity to exploit the tension in the state to create widespread violence.
He also deplored the incidents of stone and shoe throwing at the Badals, calling upon the people to vent their anger against the Akali leadership by exercising their vote judiciously instead of resorting to violent and provocative acts. “These elections are your biggest opportunity to get rid of the corrupt and criminal Badal sarkar,” Amarinder told the people, asking them not to waste the opportunity by diverting attention through violence. PTI