We can handle: Sukhbir
Tribune News Service
“The Akali-BJP government is competent enough to provide an atmosphere of security, peace and development to all Punjabis and also to bring the guilty to justice,” says Sukhbir Badal, maintaining that “overseas Punjabis have been appreciative of the manner in which the dera row has been handled by the Punjab government.”
Talking to The Tribune after his brief stay abroad, the acting president of the Shiromani Akali Dal is hopeful that the dera controversy will be resolved amicably. “We have learnt our lessons after paying a huge cost through the loss of lives, property and dignity and slackness of the development process.”
He says the centre should intervene to bring about a settlement of the dera row as it is a matter of national interest.
“I was in constant touch with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and senior functionaries of the state administration and briefed the investors I met in London during my six-day stay there. Though I had planned a 30-day tour to woo non-resident Punjabis to come and invest in Punjab to accelerate the pace of development here, I had to return because of the dera row.
Coming to the dera controversy, Sukhbir Badal says that the Shiromani Akali Dal believes that no religious sect should try to hurt the sentiments of the followers of other religions and sects. “In fact, there is a constitutional protection against such violations. A hukamnama from Akal Takht is a moral edict to ensure that the rights of the Sikhs are protected against any religious misadventure prompted by vested political interests.”
Regarding the dera controversy, he said the appeal issued by the political wing of the dera was violative of the secular and democratic ethos of the country.
He says the SAD has never shown any intolerance towards any sect. The present situation is “not our creation”. It is the endeavour of the Akali Dal to provide peaceful and conducive conditions in the state for people belonging to all sects, religions and castes.