|Tuesday, March 21, 2000,
Akalis lash out at each other
SHSAD to demonstrate in Delhi
Anandgarh project to be opposed:
Jagir Kaur likely to appear
ANANDPUR SAHIB, March 20 (PTI) Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Bibi Jagir Kaur is likely to appear before the Akal Takht soon to resolve the stand-off sparked by her controversial ex-communication from the Sikh fold, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said here today.
"Bibi is a faithful soldier of our party.... Everything will be sorted out soon in the interest of the Panth," Badal told reporters here after addressing a gathering on the occasion of Hola Mohalla.
The political affairs committee of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal yesterday asked Bibi Jagir Kaur to present her case before Akal Takht Jathedar Puran Singh, who in January had ex-communicated her for defying him on the controversial Nanakshahi calendar issue.
Badal also said that his government was against lending state waters to other states free of cost.
"We respect the sentiments of our neighbouring states, but we do not have any surplus water to give to Haryana or Rajasthan free of cost," he told the gathering.
"Our needs are not fulfilled as far as riparian issues are concerned," he said, adding Punjab lost waters due to wrong policies of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Akalis lash out at each other
ANANDPUR SAHIB, March 20 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal president Parkash Singh Badal today expressed confidence that the Vajpayee government would safeguard interests of Punjab, which included the transfer of Chandigarh and Punjabi-speaking areas to the state.
Addressing his party's political congregation on the occasion of Hola Mohalla in this holy town, Mr Badal reaffirmed his stand that Punjab had no water for the Sutlej-Yamuna link (SYL) canal.
He assured the large gathering on the occasion that his party would continue its struggle for the interests of the people of Punjab.
Mr Badal blamed the Congress for the turmoil the state had gone through in the past. He said the Congress had manipulated operation blue star and then the anti-Sikh riots in 1984.
Mr Badal said the attempt of the Congress to project the image of Ms Sonia Gandhi as leader of the country had been rejected by the people. ''The country's electorate had rejected the leadership of a foreign lady as reflected in the Lok Sabha polls,'' he said.
Mr Badal said the celebration of the Khalsa tercentenary was a great occasion when top national leaders, cutting across party lines, had shared a common platform to greet the Sikh community last year.
Meanwhile, Hola Mohalla was yet another occasion for the divided Akalis to blame each other for the present-day morass in Sikh politics.
The ruling Akali Dal (SAD), Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), Akali Dal (Mann) and the Congress had set up political stages in the holy town.
Mr Badal blamed the ''radical attitude of leaders like Mr Simranjit Singh Mann'' for the bloodshed during the militancy period.
The SAD chief, along with other party leaders, also criticised former SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra for the division among the Akalis.
On the other hand, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann and Mr Tohra, from their respective stages, blamed Mr Badal for the ongoing SGPC-Akal Takht crisis.
SAD dissident leader and former Punjab Assembly Speaker Ravi Inder Singh shared the dais with Mr Tohra and announced his plan to launch a campaign for the removal of Mr Badal from chief-ministership through a democratic and peaceful process.
Tohra announced his party would launch a movement from April 13 to make Punjabis aware of the "injustice" done to them by the Badal government and its total "failure" on all fronts, including law and order and lack of transparency in administration.
Both Mr Tohra and Mr Ravi Inder Singh alleged that the government had failed to take the state towards progress. They said the demand for Chandigarh and Punjabi-speaking areas stood unfulfilled.
Mr Ravi Inder Singh asked why SAD took so much time in deciding that SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur should appear before the Akal Takht.
Mr Tohra said his party would soon submit a memorandum to the President and the Prime Minister against the "apathetic approach of Central and state governments towards genuine demands of Punjab," and challenged the Chief Minister to come out openly with "a list of works done for the people of state."
"Badal's opposition to hike in prices of urea is a shrewd move to avoid discussion on these issues, which are of prime importance to farmers," he said.
SGPC chief Bibi Jagir
Kaur and Kesgarh Sahib Jathedar Prof Manjit Singh, who
were excommunicated by Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Puran
Singh, were conspicuous by their absence from today's
SHSAD to demonstrate in Delhi
ANANDPUR SAHIB March 20 (PTI) The Sarv Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), under the leadership of its president Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra would organise a demonstration in Delhi on March 28 to protest against the hike in prices of urea, fertilisers and diesel.
Announcing this here today, Mr Tohra said the demonstration would commence from Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, in which various kisan organisations would also participate.
He said the hike in certain commodities would adversely affect farmers, on whose base most of the economy of the country is depending upon.
He said that both the state and Central governments had maintained an apathetic approach towards Punjab.
Anandgarh project to be opposed: Ravi Inder
ANANDPUR SAHIB, March 20 (PTI) Former Punjab Speaker and rebel Akali leader Ravi Inder Singh, speaking from a stage set up by the Sarv Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) on the occasion of Hola Mohalla for conference, said that he was opposed to the Anandgarh project near Chandigarh as it would displace a large number of villagers.
"The project is a grave injustice to people whose villages fall in its periphery," he said, adding that the people of that area would continue their fight through democratic means against the project.
Mr Ravi Inder Singh, who is the legislator from the Ropar constituency, from where the project is to be launched, said his workers would prevent Badal from speaking about the project at all places in his district.
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