May 20, 2010 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Amritsar (May 20, 2010): Dal Khalsa took BJP president Nitin Gadkari to task over his river-link idea and dubbing Baba Banda Singh Bahadur as “bairagi” during his 3 day visit to Chandigarh and Fatehgarh Sahib respectively.
Notably, Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari while speaking in Chandigarh suggested the nationalisation of water resources through river-linking and the inclusion of irrigation in the concurrent list instead of the state list.
Mr Gadkari’s suggestion was nothing but a direct attack on riparian rights of Punjab, said party spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh. Calling SAD (Badal) leadership a bunch of shameless persons, he said their public silence on the sensitive matter was a sham.
Mr Gadkari idea is in sharp contrast to the SAD’s position on river waters which was also distinctly spelled out in the party’s 2007 election manifesto.
Mr Kanwarpal Singh, said, “This is noting short of a terrorist conspiracy jointly hatched by the RSS and the BJP to snatch the Punjabi peoples’ precious riparian resources. The Akalis are co-conspirators who have always kept their petty political interests above those of Punjab.”
He said, “Punjabis are essentially farmers and extremely sensitive about their water resources. We have already sacrificed thousands of lives to protect our resources in the past and will not hesitate in the future.”
Another instance where Gadkari and his men offended the Sikh community was when he and his general secretary Balbir Punj and Punjab cabinet minister Manoranjan Kalia repeatedly referred to the Sikh warrior, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, as ‘Banda Veer Bairagi’ during the tercentenary celebrations of Sirhind Fateh Divas. By calling him “Bairagi”, the BJP leaders attempted to drag him into Hindu fold, he lashed out.
Lambasting Akali leadership for not learning lessons from the past, he said each time Akalis invite BJP to address tercentenary celebrations, leaders of saffron brigade distort Sikh history to dilute Sikh identity. To drive his point home, he said Sushma Swaraj’s affronted Sikhs at a conference organized at Tarn Taran in 2006 to mark 400th martyrdom day of Fifth Guru by absolving Chandu Brahmin’s role in the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev.
He urged the Sikh masses to resist the nefarious designs of RSS-BJP on Sikh identity tooth and nail.
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