Fatehgarh Sahib (Punjab), Dec 27 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday warned that his government will not tolerate any attempt to create a rift between communities and will deal with anyone trying to disturb the state’s secular fabric with an iron hand.
Following a recent incident of vandalizing a statute of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) youth wing activists in Ludhiana, the Chief Minister warned the Akalis “against repeating such incidents”, and pointed out that there were statues of several senior Akali leaders also in various parts of the state.
“My government would protect each and every one of them too, just as it was committed to protecting the statues of senior leaders of other political parties,” Amarinder asserted while interacting with media on the second day of the 3-day Shaheedi Jor Mela in this Sikh holy city, around 45 km from Chandigarh.
Amarinder said the Sikh religion propagated communal harmony, which nobody would be allowed to disturb.
Recalling the supreme sacrifice of 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh’s youngest sons, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh, and his mother, Mata Gujri, Amarinder said the peace for which they laid down their lives would be sustained at all costs.
Referring to the “frustrated attempts being made by the Akalis to spread communal hatred by fanning the flames of the 1984 riots and dragging the Gandhi family into the case”, the Chief Minister said Rajiv Gandhi was not even there when the violence erupted.
“In fact, Sukhbir Singh Badal was studying in the United States and Bikram Singh Majithia was studying somewhere in state or Patiala at the time of the riots and were not even in the know of the developments, which they were not trying to exploit in the name of religion to gain political mileage,” he added.
He said that it was evident that the Akalis were indulging in petty politics and trying to disrupt harmony between communities in the name of 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
About Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed political rally at Gurdaspur on January 3, the Chief Minister said that Modi was holding such rallies in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls.