December 12, 2018

AAP will throw Punjab back into violence, mayhem: Amarinder

Delhi/India/Politics by

Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh (L) and party candidate Navjot Singh Sidhu during a joint press conference, in Amritsar.| PTI File Photo

KOTKAPURA: Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh today launched the last step of his poll campaign from here as he promised to bring back the innocent Sikh youths languishing in jails around the country, while attacking the AAP, which he said could throw the state back into violence and mayhem.

Addressing a rally at Purani Dana Mandi here, the Congress chief ministerial face for Punjab canvassed for local party candidate Harnirpal Singh Kuku and promised cancellation of all false FIRs against Sikh youths lodged in prisons around the country and said they would be brought back to Punjab.

Punjab was brought out of the throes of terrorism with great difficulty but with the entry of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the threat of violent disruptions and revival of terrorism has come back to haunt the people of the state, Amarinder said.

Warning AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, he said the “extreme left-right ideological mix” of AAP and the “dirty politics”

being played by the Delhi chief minister would lead to the dormant Khalistani elements once again becoming active, thus throwing the state into violence and mayhem.

The trend started by AAP was extremely dangerous for Punjab, he said, referring to AAP leader Manish Sisodia’s remarks when asked to comment on Kejriwal’s stay at a KCF commando’s house.

“What have they been doing for the past two and a half years,” he asked, adding that such “inexperienced leaders”

could not be allowed to take over the reins of a sensitive border state like Punjab.

Kejriwal’s only motive is to grab power without any concern for the consequences of his deeds, alleged Amarinder, cautioning the people against being taken in by the AAP leader’s “false promises and propaganda”.

The AAP and its leaders cannot be trusted, he claimed, adding that as many as 17 party MLAs in Delhi had some or the other case against them, and even the AAP candidate for Kotkapura, Kultar Singh, had four cases pending against him.

Amarinder decried the “pathetic conditions” into which Punjab had been plunged by the Badal-led SAD-BJP government, saying there had been an all-round decline under their rule.

Predicting a total rout of both, the Akalis and the AAP, he said SAD will not get more than 10 seats in these assembly polls.

Promising to bring back the lost smiles of the people of the state, he reiterated his promise of farm loan waiver and revival of industry.

He also vowed not to allow SYL construction at any cost, saying he was prepared to go to jail rather than let a single drop of water leave the parched state of Punjab.

A K Antony pick holes in Budget allocation for defence

Delhi/India/Politics by

Senior Congress leader A K Antony. | Express File Photo

NEW DELHI: Former defence minister A K Antony today slammed the Union Budget saying it has allocated a substantial amount to capital expenditure while it should have focused on strengthening security system in the light of the spate of terror attacks last year.

The senior Congress leader, however, acknowledged that allocation to defence and national security has been raised.

“This time we have spent more money on defence, national security, but this year also this government surrendered substantial amount on the capital budget. For the last three years now, the government has surrendered money on capital procurement.

“Even after repeated attacks on the borders and security establishments, even after the Pathankot, the Uri, and the Nagrota (attacks), instead of spending more money on strengthening our security apparatus, this year, they surrendered substantial money on capital procurement,” he said.

The overall defence budget for 2017-18 saw an increase of a 6.2 per cent for the next fiscal to Rs 2.74 lakh crore from the current Rs 2.58 lakh crore, with the capital outlay to cover the modernisation programmes getting a hike of 10.05 per cent.

The capital outlay for the three defence services for the purchase of new equipment, weapons, aircraft, warships and other military vehicles stood at Rs 86,488 crore for 2016-17 as compared to Rs 78,586 crore for this fiscal.

Shiromani Akali Dal in catch-22 situation after Dera Sacha Sauda giving its support

Delhi/India/Politics by

Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal (L) and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal (R). | File Photo

CHANDIGARH: The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is in a catch-22 situation as the Dera Sacha Sauda’s decision to extend support to the SAD-BJP alliance in the Punjab Assembly polls slated for February 4 is being widely criticised by the Sikh radicals in the state, claiming the accord will make the party meet its waterloo.

SAD senior vice-president and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee member Karnail Singh Panjoli on Thursday lodged a written complaint with the Akal Takht seeking action against all those Akali Dal candidates who have taken the support of Dera Sacha Sauda in the Assembly elections ‘thereby violating the edict issued by the supreme Sikh institution’.

Panjoli had taken up the matter with Akal Takht chief Giani Gurbachan Singh over a telephonic conversation on Wednesday night. He followed it up with a written complaint on Thursday.  In his letter, he referred to the edict issued by Akal Takht on May 17, 2007, from Takht Damdama Sahib directing social, political and religious boycott of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh and his followers for imitating Guru Gobind Singh.

Panjoli said pictures were published of the Akali Dal candidates attending a meeting of the Dera followers in Bathinda. The list includes the names of Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Jagdeep Singh Nakai, Sikander Singh Maluka, Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu, Dilraj Singh Bhunder, Amit Ratan and Harpreet Singh.

He maintained it was a very serious issue as the so-called Panthic Akali Dal had violated the Akal Takht edict. He appealed to the Jathedar to take strict action against those who had violated the Hukamnama so that no one dares to commit such violation in future.

Also radical Sikh organisation Dal Khalsa predicted that after handshaking with the Dera, the Akali Dal will meet its waterloo in the upcoming polls. General secretary of the outfit, Kanwar Pal Singh said God-fearing and devout Sikhs will teach Akalis a lesson for hobnobbing with the anti-Sikh elements.

He said the support that Akalis have managed from the Dera and in lieu of which, they had given assurance to felicitate Dera’s satsang in Punjab was in total violation of the hukamnama issued by five high priests of the Sikhs on May 17 and 20, 2007.

Blaming SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal for conniving with Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Kanwar Pal Singh said the Badal family has completely ditched the Panth (Sikhs). He urged the SGPC chief Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar to perform his role and responsibility boldly to re-establish that religion is above politics. He added that these last minute measures will not save the sinking ship of the Badals.

We have been providing evidence against Hafiz to Pakistan: Jitendra

Delhi/India/Politics by

Hafiz Saeed | AP

NEW DELHI: A day after Pakistan asked India to provide “concrete evidence” against JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, Union minister Jitendra Singh today said the country has been providing evidence at different levels and cautioned the longer Pakistan stays in “denial mode” the more it risks its own security.

Asserting that Pakistan is now the “epicentre of terrorism” in the entire region, particularly in the Indian sub-continent, Singh said the neighbouring country is also the “hub of gross human rights violations”.

“The entire world now acknowledges and realises that from time to time India has been providing a series of evidence at different levels. And therefore there is hardly any evidence required.

“The longer Pakistan prefers to stay in denial mode, they must realise, the powers that be in Islamabad, the more they are going to risk their own security,” Singh told reporters outside Parliament.

Pakistan had yesterday asked India to provide “concrete evidence” against JuD chief Hafiz Saeed if it was “serious” about its allegations against him.

Before that, India had said that only a credible crackdown on the Mumbai terror attack mastermind would be proof of Islamabad’s sincerity.

Saeed and four other Jamaat-ud Dawa leaders – Abdullah Ubaid, Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Niaz were put under house arrest after an order was issued by Punjab Province’s Interior Ministry in pursuance to a directive from the Federal Interior Ministry on January 27.

On the H1B Visa issue, the Minister said the External Affairs Ministry will look into it and take appropriate measures.

“It won’t be right for me to give a final response to that without being privy to exact details. Nevertheless, I am sure the government and the External Affairs Ministry will take cognisance and justice will be done,” he said.

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