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MLAs should have taken part in debate on sacrilege report: Sr Akalis


Press Trust of India Chandigarh
Some senior Akali leaders

today said the party MLAs, including its president Sukhbir Singh Badal should have taken part in the assembly debate on a judicial panel report on sacrilege incidents.
The Akali legislators led by junior Badal had stayed away from the debate on Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on desecration incidents of 2015, saying they had been allocated inadequate time to make their points during the August 28 debate in the assembly.
"It was a party's decision not to take part in the debate on the Commission report in the assembly on Tuesday as we had already rejected its findings.
The Congress MLAs, however, utilised the opportunity to train guns at Badal (former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal) by converting the debate into a political rally... the situation warranted that Akalis should have been there in the assembly during the debate to defend its political stalwart (Badal)," Chandumajra said.
Besides Chandumajra, Tota Singh, a former minister too questioned the boycott of the debate by the party MLAs.
Singh said the Akali legislators should have stayed in the assembly and defended the party and its patriarch Badal, who became the main target of the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party.
Party MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said the Congress "misused" the Commission's report and turned it into a "political document".
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal, meanwhile, formed a 7-member committee today to mobilise and coordinate with "taksali" (traditional) Akali workers and leaders at the grass-root level and their families.
The committee will be headed by the party's secretary general Dhindsa.
Dhindsa said the initiative is aimed at improving the coordination with traditional Akali workers, considered as "war horses" and backbone of the party.
"The committee will visit Taksali workers and leaders at the grassroots level throughout the state. Apart from getting feedback from the local workers and leaders, the panel will also listen to their problems and address their grievances," Dhindsa said.
Sukhbir Singh Badal is keen that the party gets benefitted from the wisdom and experience of its "old warhorses", he said.
Besides ensuring regular interaction with the traditional workers, the SAD president wants due recognition of the services of these workers, Dhindsa said.
Meanwhile, senior SAD leadership today said the party would unitedly fight the "conspiracy hatched by the Congress in league with radical groups to belittle Badal's contribution" towards the Sikh community and Punjab.
They said the Congress party has been targeting the Sikh 'panth' and trying to divide the community as per its old divide-and-rule policy.
They said it was on record that they even "a politicised and biased Ranjit Singh Commission" had failed to indict Badal despite its best attempts.
They said the retired judge had even noted in his report that the state police informed him that Badal had given directions that the situation after sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and the resultant protests be handled with sensitivity and that no one responsible for the sacrilege should be spared.

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First Published: Aug 31 2018 | 10:05 PM IST

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