Sukhbir 'spreading poison' in Punjab: Chugh

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Chandigarh, Dec 16 (PTI) BJP’s national general secretary Tarun Chugh on Wednesday hit back at SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, accusing him of “spreading poison and igniting communal passions” in Punjab under the garb of farmers' cause.

Chug hit back at Badal a day after the chief of the BJP's former NDA ally SAD dubbed the saffron party as the “real tukde tukde gang” and accused it of setting Hindus against Sikhs in Punjab.

Reacting to the SAD chief's allegations, Chugh said the way Sukhbir Singh Badal is trying to create a “divisive and disruptive narrative” after parting ways with the BJP is strongly reprehensible.

He also accused the Shiromani Akali Dal president of trying to “play cheap politics.” 'All Punjabis should wake up to the nefarious designs of Sukhbir Badal and his party', said Chugh in a statement here.

Chugh said the BJP has always stood for the Hindu-Sikh unity in Punjab and has tried to foster the brotherhood whenever there were strains of stress.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken special care to address the Sikh issues, be it providing succour to the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims in Delhi and elsewhere in the country or the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor or the lifting of the ban on foreign donations to the Golden Temple, Chugh pointed out.

He also listed a slew of other pro-Sikh measures taken by Prime Minister Modi.

Even during the times of militancy in Punjab, the BJP made sure that the Hindu-Sikh relations did not suffer and the spirit of Punjabiyat was kept alive, he recalled.

“Even at a time when silver spades were distributed for digging the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal and the copies of the nation's Constitution were burnt, the BJP made sure that bad blood did not spread in the society,” said Chugh.

The BJP has always kept the Punjabi spirit of Hindu-Sikh unity alive even during the times when the massacre of Hindus was taking place in a planned manner, he said.

“The BJP stands for the Punjabiyat and will always stand for it,” he said.

Taking on the SAD chief, Chugh asked, “Now, when many singers are singing communally provocative songs, why is Sukhbir Ji silent on them?” On farmers' front, he said the BJP was committed to doing everything for their welfare.

The three farm laws are meant to double farmers' income by 2022, he asserted.

Chugh said the Modi government has “accepted all the demands” raised by farmer leaders during their talks with the Union ministers.

“The issues like the minimum support price, mandis and civil suits have all been adequately resolved to farmers' satisfaction. The Centre is still open to talks on various clauses in the bills. We hope the farmers would soon withdraw their protest,” he said.

Stating that the BJP is a firmly rooted party in Punjab, Chugh said the party's base is, in fact, expanding because the farmers, who have been in distress, understand that the three laws would help them.

Ever since the farmers' agitation has started, more than 3,000 persons from other political parties have joined the BJP, he claimed.

“We are expanding our base steadily to contest all the 117 assembly seats in Punjab and will come victorious after the elections and form the government in the state,” said Chugh. PTI CHS VSD RAX RAX RAX