Chandigarh: For the last five years, the Congress in Punjab, especially state Congress president Amarinder Singh, have been claiming that false cases were being registered against their workers and leaders, allegedly at the behest of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). But Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal says that there is no political vendetta in the 'Ram Rajya' of the Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state.
Taking head-on the charge of the Congress leadership that over 20,000 Congress members were booked in false cases across Punjab, Badal has challenged them to bring each of these cases to his notice.
"Against 20,000 cases of vendetta alleged by the former chief minister and Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh over the past five years, he and his party had been able to bring to our notice just four cases against the Congress workers, that too on frivolous grounds like elopement, family property disputes etc.," Badal, the Akali Dal patron, said on the floor of the Punjab assembly this week.
He said that leader of opposition and Congress legislator Sunil Jakhar had pointed out "thousands of other cases of vendetta against Congressmen since January this year".
"Of these also, they have been able to pinpoint just 35 cases, out of which also 26 were filled during the period when the administration was directly under the supervision of the Election Commission because of the model code of conduct for elections," Badal pointed out.
Defending his government, Badal maintained "that the cult of confrontation politics and vendetta had no place in the policies and programmes of the Akali Dal-BJP alliance government".
He termed the statements of the Congress leaders "wild accusations".
Referring to the cases, Badal said he had entrusted the task of investigation of the cases to the Punjab director general of police (DGP) and directed that this be carried out by an officer not below the rank of a deputy inspector general (DIG) and not by lower level police officers.
Badal asserted: "If the leader of the opposition or any other member is still not satisfied with the investigations then they are most welcome to personally enquire into the facts."
Likening the Akali Dal-BJP rule to Ram Rajya, Badal said only the rule of law prevailed in his regime.
Amarinder Singh, during the last few years, has been claiming that the Akali leadership was getting false cases registered against Congress workers and leaders to brow-beat them politically.
"The Badal government has unleashed a reign of terror on Congress workers across Punjab. The police and the administration are playing into the hands of Akali Dal leaders," Amarinder Singh claimed.
The former chief minister, during recent election campaigns for the assembly and civic polls, even encouraged Congress workers to hit back at Akali workers and leaders if they tried to mess around.
Badal, in fact, accused Amarinder of politics of hatred and vendetta. He claimed that he had earlier enjoyed cordial ties with other Congress chief ministers like Giani Zail Singh, Darbara Singh, Beant Singh and Harcharan Singh Brar.
"On the contrary, Amarinder Singh indulged in systematic repression, suppression and injustice, besides unleashing bouts of political vendetta on him (Badal), his family members, party leaders and workers, just to settle personal scores," Badal pointed out.
The chief minister asked Congress leader Jakhar where he was when Amarinder had got him, his family members and close leaders booked in various cases.
Badal has urged Congress leaders to shun the political vendetta to enable the government to take Punjab forward.