Punjab Congress discusses Memorial, Rajoana with Chidambaram
Chandigarh, July 13 (YP Bureau)
The Union Home Minister Mr P Chidambaram today said that the centre was closely following the situation in Punjab in view of the setting up of the Operation Bluestar Memorial inside the Darbar Sahib Complex and the incidents that took place across Punjab against the death sentence to Balwant Singh Rajoana, the assassin of former Chief Minister Sardar Beant Singh.
Sharing the concern of the Congress leaders at a special meeting held at the Punjab Pradesh Congress office here today, Mr Chidambaram said, he was seized of the matter and he had raised it with the Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal also.
The Home Minister disclosed that the Chief Minister had told him that he or his government had nothing to do in the matter as it was being done by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhik Committee.
Mr Chidambaram said, Mr Badal had also told him that it was not really a memorial but a Gurdwara which was being built and there will not be any photographs of anybody inside it.
The Congress leaders disputed Mr Badal’s claims and told Mr Chidambaram that the SGPC was well under direct control of Mr Badal’s party, the Shiromani Akali Dal. They said, there was a strong undercurrent of extremism going on in Punjab and the Akali-BJP government was encouraging it.
“Allowing, rather facilitating the Operation Bluestar Memorial and letting people roam freely around seeking pardon to Balwant Rajoana and declaring him as a Zinda Shaheed had created a fear psychosis among the minorities in Punjab”, one of the party leaders told Mr Chidambaram and warned that the situation was deliberately being allowed to drift.
At this the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President, Capt Amarinder Singh said that he had suggested that there should be a memorial in memory of all those killed during those dark days of terrorism and that to outside the Darbar Sahib Complex.
The PCC President maintained that the Akalis were deliberately trying to fan the extremist fires and there was a sense of insecurity among the people.
Mr Chidambaram along with two other union ministers Ms Ambika Soni and Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal met the Congress leaders from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to listen to their problems and other issues.
Prominent among those who attended today’s meeting at the PCC office in Chandigarh included besides Capt Amarinder, Punjab Congress Legislative Party Leader Mr Sunil Jakhar, the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee President Mr Phool Chand Mulana, Chandigarh Congress President Mr BB Behal, Vinod Sharma, Mr Laal Singh, Ashwani Sekhri, Fateh Jang Bajwa, Rana Gurjeet, Parmidner Pinki, Sukh Sarkaria and others.