Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday accused Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi of carrying forward his family’s “notorious legacy of anti-Punjabism and anti-Sikhism”.
On the sidelines of his Sangat Darshan programme in Malout Assembly constituency here, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader said, right from late Prime Minister Indira to Rahul, the entire Gandhi family has treated Punjabis in general and Sikhs in particular as their “bitter enemies”.
Reminding the people of the “hostile attitude” of the Gandhi family and Congress towards Punjab and its people, Badal said, successive Congress governments at the Centre have “tormented the psyche” of Sikhs by unnecessarily meddling in their social, economic, political and even religious affairs.
He said no Punjabi could ever forgive Congress for launching an attack on Darbar Sahib and for the “inhuman butchering” of thousands of innocent Sikhs in 1984.
The Chief Minister said, the young Gandhi scion was following in the footsteps of his ancestors by defaming hard-working Punjabis as “drug addicts”.
Badal added that Rahul Gandhi has inherited the “anti-Punjab and anti-Sikh” stance from his family which enjoys the dubious distinction of depriving the state of its capital, legitimate share in river waters and Punjabi-speaking areas.
“Punjab has suffered a lot due to the indifferent attitude of the Gandhi family and Rahul is carrying forward the tradition by labelling Punjabis as drug addicts,” he said.
The Chief Minister took a jibe at the Congress saying that the party has no “magic wand” with which the drug menace could be eliminated, adding that the state government was leaving no stone unturned to make Punjab a drug-free state.
Badal claimed that not even an ounce of drugs was produced in the state but it was being defamed simply because it was fighting the nation’s war against this evil.
He said several other parts of the country also had to deal with the drug problem but, unfortunately, forces inimical to Punjab were “hell bent on defaming it”.
He reiterated his earlier stance that Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were “hobnobbing with each other” to snatch the legitimate share of Punjab’s water.
Badal said while Congress had in the past signed various agreements to deprive the state of its legitimate share of river water, AAP was now trying its level best to ensure that these agreements were implemented at the earliest.
The Chief Minister alleged it was a known fact that both these parties were hell bent on turning the state into a desert by depriving it of water.