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Posted at: May 15, 2019, 3:03 PM; last updated: May 16, 2019, 6:56 AM (IST)

Strict action against those involved in Punjab ‘sacrilege’ cases: Rahul

Strict action against those involved in Punjab ‘sacrilege’ cases: Rahul
Rahul Gandhi and Capt Amarinder Singh at a rally at Bargari village in Faridkot district on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Ravi Kumar

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh/Bargari, May 15

Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on the SAD-BJP alliance at Bargari village of Faridkot district, which was the epicentre of the sacrilege incidents of October 2015.

The chief minister announced that a memorial would be built at Bargari in memory of the youths who were killed in the police firing.

He said a committee of Bargari villagers would soon be announced to decide on how to build the memorial.

He blamed Akali Dal patron and former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for using the police to fire at innocent and peaceful protesters. 

Intensifying his attack on the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab, Gandhi promised strict action against those involved in the 2015 desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib.

Recalling his previous visit to the Punjab town, where the first incident of “sacrilege” took place and two people died in police firing at protesters, Gandhi said, “Your ‘dharm’ was disrespected.”

Strict action will be taken against the perpetrators, he promised.

“I give you a guarantee on this.” The row over the 2015 incidents continues in Punjab with the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government, blaming the previous Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state for it.

At another rally on Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi’s sister and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had also tried to corner BJP’s ally SAD over the issue.

The Congress focus on the desecration of religious scriptures comes at a time when the BJP has renewed its attack on the party over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, both emotive issues in state which goes to the polls on Sunday.

Gandhi also taunted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly failing to keep poll promises.

He contrasted the UPA government at the Centre headed by Manmohan Singh with the BJP government led now by Narendra Modi.

“Modi used to make fun of Manmohan Singh. But after five years now, Modi ji does not make fun of Manmohan ji. Today the country is making fun of him,” he said.

He accused Modi of not keeping promises like the creation of two crore jobs and putting “Rs 15 lakh” into the bank account of every citizen.

Gandhi targeted Modi for likening the country’s economy under the UPA government as “sleeping elephant”, and asked where he was when the hard- working Punjab farmers ushered in the green revolution.

Accusing Modi of “destroying” the economy with his two decisions, he said had the PM taken the advice of Manmohan Singh he would not have rolled out demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Gandhi referred to it as the Gabbar Singh Tax.

He claimed that the former PM had rightly predicted the fall in the country’s GDP due to these decisions.

Taking a dig at Modi for his TV interviews, the Congress leader said the prime minister does not talk about issues like unemployment and farmer suicides.

“The PM thinks only one person can run the country, but actually it is the people who run it.”

Polling for the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab will take place in the last phase of elections on May 19. — With PTI

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