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'Behaved in Imbecile Manner': Punjab CM Slams Bawja on Sacrilege Issue, Accuses him of 'Joining Hands' with Oppn

File photo of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

File photo of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Amarinder Singh said that with his remarks, the Congress MP had 'strengthened' the hands of 'forces' trying to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the state, which was finally moving towards progress and development after a dark 10-year period,

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday slammed Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa for "joining hands" with the opposition in attacking his own party's government on the sensitive sacrilege issue.

Hitting out at Bajwa for being party to the "malicious" propaganda unleashed by the opposition in the wake of CM's reported comments in a newspaper interview on Tuesday, Amarinder said the Congress Rajya Sabha MP had "behaved in an imbecile manner".

Bajwa had "played into" the hands of the Akalis, who had been persistently trying to "scuttle" the sacrilege case probe, as well the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which was desperate to "grab at any straw" to find its feet in the state, especially in the run-up to the Assembly bypoll in four constituencies, the CM said in a release here.

With his remarks, the Congress MP had "strengthened" the hands of "forces" trying to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the state, which was finally moving towards progress and development after a dark 10-year period, he added.

"To react to a mere newspaper heading was the height of irresponsibility on the part of a seasoned politician", said Amarinder, adding that "only school children respond to headlines".

"Educated adults read through an entire article before coming out with a reaction," he said. By criticising him and his government after simply reading a baseless heading, Bajwa had jumped the gun, thus showing a total lack of maturity and political understanding, said Amarinder.

"I would like to ask Bajwa and all the others who were so quick to attack me on the basis of that heading, did they even read the interview on which it was purported to be based?" said the Chief Minister, in a statement issued here.

"Can they cite even one sentence which could lead to the conclusion that I had given a clean chit to Prakash Singh Badal in the Bargari case," he further asked.

Facing flak from the opposition over his reported comments on the sacrilege issue, Punjab Chief Minister on Tuesday had said that he has not given a "clean chit" to SAD leaders Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir. Apart from the opposition AAP, Singh also faced flak from Congress MP Bajwa who alleged that the chief minister has "freed the Badals of their guilt" on the issue of desecration of religious scriptures.

Seeking to clarify his comments in a newspaper interview, Amarinder Singh said, "At no point did I say Parkash Singh Badal or his son Sukhbir were not involved in the sacrilege. As is evident from the reported interview itself, all I said was that Badal did not himself go and tear up the holy Sri Guru Granth Sahib. But that does not rule out his involvement in the matter."
first published:September 26, 2019, 15:49 IST