BJP leaders' attempts to light communal bomb will blow up in their faces: Amarinder

·4-min read

Chandigarh, May 16 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday hit out at the BJP leaders 'parroting' Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's 'provocative' statement on Malerkotla, warning that they are 'trying to light the bomb of communal hatred in the state, which will blow up in their faces'.

Further criticising the BJP leaders, the chief minister said their 'blatant attempts to drive a communal wedge among the peace-loving Punjabis will backfire on them'.

'The BJP leaders are trying to light the bomb of communal hatred in Punjab, which will blow up in their faces,' he said in an official statement issued here.

Singh had criticised Adityanath on Saturday over his tweet on the declaration of Malerkotla as a district in Punjab, terming it an attempt to incite 'communal hatred'.

'Any distinction on the basis of belief and religion is contrary to the basic spirit of the Constitution of India. Presently, the formation of Malerkotla (Punjab) is a reflection of the divisive policy of the Congress,' Adityanath had said in a tweet in Hindi.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary Tarun Chugh had said the Punjab government's decision to declare Malerkotla as a new district was 'administratively an imprudent and politically a communal decision'.

The chief minister hit out at the BJP leaders for 'blindly jumping' to Adityanath's defence.

He said the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, in any case, 'is hell bent upon destroying his own state, which is reeling under total lawlessness, communal and caste divisions and lack of governance, along with insensitive handling of the COVID situation by a government, which files criminal cases against those pleading for help to save their loved ones'.

'The Constituent Assembly under the chairmanship of Dr BR Ambedkar made us a secular democracy and all that Yogi is achieving is destroying the secular fabric of the country,' Singh alleged.

The BJP has systematically tried to 'destroy' the secular fabric of the nation, with its 'blatantly genocidal and communal policies and politics', he said, citing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) as well as its recent attempts to 'communalise' a peaceful agitation of farmers, who are still fighting for their lives and livelihood.

Pointing to the saffron party's alleged 'gory history of spreading communal hatred and violence' across the country, from Gujarat in 2002 to West Bengal in 2021, the Congress leader said even in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, he had personally seen complaints filed against 22 BJP supporters, who had fuelled the violence, at the Tughlak Road police station.

In Punjab too, the cases of sacrilege that sought to disturb the state's peace and harmony took place under the watch of the BJP, which was then in power in an alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal, he added.

The chief minister said as far as Adityanath's Uttar Pradesh is concerned, media reports quoting a statement in the Lok Sabha in December 2018 by the Union minister of state for home affairs showed that compared to 2014, the number of incidents of communal violence in the country was 32 per cent higher in 2017.

A total of 195 such incidents were reported in Uttar Pradesh, of the 822 reported across the country in 2017, in which 44 people died and 542 were injured, according to the reports, he said, adding that the situation has since only worsened.

Singh said Punjab's history is one of unity of all communities and cited the example of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, whose ministers were Muslims and Hindus.

Recalling his own father's time, the veteran Congress leader said the then prime minister of Patiala was a Muslim, Nawab Liyakat Hayat Khan, while the revenue minister was a Kashmiri, Raja Daya Kishan Kaul, and the finance minister a British citizen.

Calling upon his 'BJP friends to learn Punjab's history before supporting a foolish statement of Yogi', he asked them not to forget that even in the 1965 war, it was CQMH (Company Quartermaster Havildar) Abdul Hamid who laid his life in 'Assal Uttar' to save Punjab, for which he was given the Param Vir Chakra.

As for Malerkotla, it is evident that the BJP leaders do not know that it was the Nawab of Malerkotla, Sher Mohammed Khan, who stood up and opposed the then governor of Sirhind, who was bricking alive the younger sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh, the chief minister said. PTI CHS VSD RC

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