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Badal pulls up Makkar
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 24
The Akali leadership and the Punjab Government have not liked the spoilsport’s role by SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar yesterday to disrupt the amicable settlement with dera Sacha Sauda jeopardising the peace in the state. At a party meeting today Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal made clear that his government would protect the life and property of all citizens in the state.

Badal, who was presiding over the meeting of his party MLAs, MPs and other leaders, told them to play an active role in maintaining peace and law and order in the state.

Asked about Makkar’s action, Badal today said that he had yesterday told the SGPC chief to withdraw his statement that had further fueled the prevailing volatile atmosphere in the state over the dera issue. Makkar was reported to have told mediapersons that he did not believe in what the law and Constitution says. He had stated that deras of Sacha Sauda would have to be vacated. He also reportedly took a dig on Congress leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, holding her responsible for the prevailing situation in the state.

Badal said that at his behest Makkar had withdrawn his statement late in evening yesterday and had also clarified his position in this regard to members of the electronic media.

Badal also alleged that mediapersons had twisted Makkar’s statement.

Makkar had made his statement yesterday at a time when the settlement with the dera was almost in sight. The efforts for the settlement were made by a group of religious leaders from Delhi.

However, following Makkar’s statement the dera management, apprehensive about the development, had then taken up the matter with Swami Agnivesh, one of the religious leaders, who then spoke to the Akali leaders on this issue. Asked that Makkar had not denied his reported statement about Sonia Gandhi, Badal said that the SGPC chief had clarified his position in this regard also.

Badal claimed Makkar was misquoted by the media.

Talking about law and order Badal said, “To maintain peace and law and order is my duty. No one will be allowed to take law in his or her hands. I have told all my party MLAs, MPs, district presidents and others concerned that they should play an active role in maintaining peace in the state.”

By saying so Badal apparently was trying to remove misgivings and apprehensions of the people, who have been feeling uneasy because of the volatile atmosphere in the state during the past week.

He said that the party wanted a lasting peace in the state and was for resolving the matter. He said whatever efforts were possible to resolve the existing tangle; he was trying his best to do so. He said he had also talked to religious leaders who were trying to resolve the issue. Badal said that he was hopeful that matter would be resolved.

He thanked all parties and their leaders for helping in maintaining peace in the state. “ I am thankful to all parties, which have supported us to maintain peace and law and order,” he added.

At the meeting today a resolution was also passed thanking all religious, political, social, business and other organisations for responding to the call for Punjab Bandh in a peaceful way and making the bandh a success. The resolution cautioned people to be alert with regard to the certain forces, which wanted to disturb peace in the state.

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