Monday, June 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Tohra to follow party line if Badal arrested
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 29
Veteran Akali leader and former SGPC president Gurcharan Singh Tohra said today he had never made statement that he would lead an agitation in case SAD President Parkash Singh Badal was arrested. He said he would file a defamation suit against the news agency which had released the purported statement.

Talking to TNS at Tohra village, near here, the veteran leader said the failure of Mr Badal to reappoint a Lok Pal had led to the present situation in which he was fearing arrest. He said he had been telling Mr Badal to appoint a Lok Pal during his tenure as Chief Minister, but he did not pay heed to his appeals.

Mr Tohra said had Mr Badal appointed a Lok Pal, cases would have also been registered against Congress men, who had committed corruption during the Beant Singh regime.

He said it was unfortunate that even though the institution of Lok Pal existed and had been in force during the Harcharan Brar-led government, it had become defunct during the tenure of Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and had not been revived during the Akali-BJP government.

Asked if Mr Badal was arrested what would be his stand, the veteran Akali leader refused to give straight a answer saying that he would follow the line adopted by his party. He, simultaneously, decried the statement, quoting a news agency, published in a section of the Press, saying that it seemed to have been a “planted news “ as he had not met any agency reporter.

The former SGPC chief also took to task present SGPC head Kirpal Singh Badungar on the issue of observing the martyrdom day of Baba Banda Bahadur. He said it was wrong on the part of Mr Badungar to say that the martyrdom day had not been observed by the SGPC earlier.


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