Punjab Congress president and party nominee for Gurdaspur bye-elections Sunil Jakhar on Thursday claimed he was a truer Sikh than the jathedars (head priests) who had always used the panthic card to promote their petty political interests. He also lashed out at the Badals for asking him not to speak on issues of Sikhism.
“The entire Punjab knew that I have always stood by the Sikh ethos and people are also well aware of my political ideology of raising the voice for the poor and the masses,” said Jakhar while addressing a series of worker meetings in Fatehgarh Churian.
Jakhar also lashed out at the Badals for “unnecessarily” criticising the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission probing sacrilege cases, including the Behbal Kalan firing incident, saying that they were doing so for fear of being exposed. “Once the findings come, the people would find out on whose orders the police had opened fire,” he added.
Coming down heavily on the Badals on the farm loan waiver issue, Jakhar asked the former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal how many homes of farmers who committed suicide during his tenure had he visited as chief minister.
Accusing the Akali leaders of making business out of governance, Jakhar pointed out merely for minting Rs 5 crore, spurious pesticides were purchased by the erstwhile Government, resulting in damage to 12 lakh acres of cotton crop.
Jakhar, saying that SAD president Sukhbir Badal’s criticism of Capt Amarinder could be dismissed as his “usual habit of making absurd statements, added, “I am surprised at Parkash Singh Badal’s disparagement of the Congress government on the farm loan waiver issue. Senior Badal should have appreciated the fact that Capt Amarinder is arranging Rs 9500 crore to waive off loans of 10.25 lakh farmers despite empty coffers.”