Alliance: BJP talks of ‘hard decisions’
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 21
Conveying its displeasure at the recent sectarian clashes in Punjab, the BJP today issued the first major warning to its alliance partner, the SAD, saying it would not hesitate to take “hard decisions” in the larger interests of the people of the state.
The obvious hint was at the BJP continuing its alliance in view of the turn of events in the past few days.
The BJP has chosen to distance itself from the stance of the hardliners among the Sikhs on the Sacha Sauda issue besides striking a tough posture on the prevailing law and order situation in the state. Political observers said the BJP’s stance would put pressure on Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal against succumbing to the demands of the hardliners.
The BJP’s central leader, R.P. Singh, told The Tribune on the phone that “nothing will matter more than peace in Punjab and the BJP will not be a party to incidents where lumpen elements openly brandish swords in the state.” Asked if the party was reviewing the alliance or thinking of giving only outside support to the SAD, R.P. Singh said: “If need be, such a step will be discussed when we feel that things are going out of control”.
Rajinder Bhandari, president of the Punjab unit of the BJP, said: “The BJP is deeply concerned over the developments and is committed to maintaining peace, harmony and brotherhood in Punjab”. In a statement here Bhandari, besides talking of “hard decisions”, said: “If anything goes wrong in any part of the state, the government headed by Parkash Singh Badal will be solely responsible and answerable”.
Bhandari, who chaired a meeting of party office-bearers today, said the events of the past few days had created apprehension in the minds of the people. The BJP would not shirk its responsibility to maintain peace. He said “the party had no objection to the bandh tomorrow as long as it remains peaceful”.