You are here: Home » News-IANS » Politics
Business Standard

Guilty of Gujarat, anti-Sikh riots should be punished: Badal (IANS Interview)

IANS  |  Chandigarh 

The guilty of both the riots in 2002 and the of 1984 should be punished, Akali Dal patron and five-time Chief Minister said on Saturday.

He said Narendra Modi, by touching his feet, has sought blessings not only from him but from the Punjabis and Sikhs all over the world.

In a conversation a day ahead of the polls for 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, the senior Badal, country's oldest -- next only to BJP veteran L.K. Advani -- told IANS it made him feel very humble when Modi touched his feet ahead of filing his nomination papers in

"Modi sahib took me by surprise. But as I see it he sought blessings not from me personally but from Punjabis and Sikhs all over the world."

And did he give his blessings to Modi, he replied: "Yes."

"He has my best wishes and blessings of all Punjabis for what he did for opening the Kartarpur Sahib corridor, punishment to Sajjan Kumar and other guilty of the 1984 massacre, abolishing the blacklists of Sikhs abroad and release of liberal funds in hundreds of crores for Guru Sahib's 'shatabadi' (550th birth anniversary of "

Badal, 91, said he wants the guilty of both the riots and the should be punished.

"No one has ever justified the riots. No one said after the Gujarat riots that it was like shaking of the earth after the fall of a big tree. But from to leaders, they have always justified the "

When asked that for the Akali Dal, a BJP alliance partner, the sacrilege cases in are no more an issue in the state elections but Balakot air strikes are, he replied: "Sacrilege hurts every devout Sikh. But equally hurtful and sacrilegious is the using money power to buy some stooges in the so-called 'Bargari morcha'. Sikhs will reject this misuse of their religion."

Two people were killed and many others injured in Behbal Kalan village on October 15, 2015, when police resorted to unprovoked firing on hundreds of people protesting the alleged desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in Bargari village in Faridkot days ago.

The incident came a day after police used force to disperse agitators in Kotkapura village. At that time the Akali Dal-BJP combine government was in power in the state.

When asked that in October 2015, Modi had called him India's and that now he compared Modi with former US Abraham Lincoln, he said: "Lots of people have referred to me as even before because of the years I spent in jail fighting for democracy, civil liberties and peace and reconciliation in "

"I don't believe I can be compared with a great man like Mandela. As for Modi sahib, I compared him with and I spoke from the core of my heart. Nothing political about it."

In this electoral battleground, Badal's who is also Union Minister, Harsimrat Kaur, is locked in a multi-cornered contest from the Akali Dal's pocket borough Bathinda from where she has won twice. So is his former son, Badal, who is in the fray from Ferozepur.

Believing that both Sukhbir and Harsimrat will win handsomely, he said: "No doubt about that. The results will stun the It can be a sweep 13-0 for the SAD-BJP," Badal senior added.

For the rout of the Congress, he blamed the total neglect of governance, stoppage of all welfare and development initiatives by the

The other issue is that the country needs a strong to ensure peace with neighbours, a confident Badal, who has never said he will not contest the next election, said.

The Congress, which was out of power in Punjab for a decade (2007-17), got 77 seats in the February 2017 Assembly elections after drubbing the Akali Dal-BJP combine.

The Congress tally increased to 78 after win in Shahkot by-election in May 2018, giving the party a two-third majority in the House.

Out of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, the Akali Dal-BJP combine currently holds five (four Akali Dal; one of BJP), while the Congress has four seats and another four.

(can be reached at vishal.g@ians.in)

--IANS

vg/prs

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 18 2019. 19:28 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU