Jalandhar, Punjab: Flaying the SAD-BJP government for its utter failure to evacuate 3,000 stranded pilgrims from Govind Dham, near Hemkunt Sahib Gurudwara in Uttarakhand, Congress has urged Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal to tender an unconditional apology to the stranded ‘sangat’.
Congress spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira said: “It is extremely saddening that the SAD-BJP has utterly failed to rescue over 3,000 stranded pilgrims from Govind Dham for the last many days. In order to deflect and avoid public criticism over its inefficiency, the Badals who are holidaying in London further indulged in lip service and political gimmicks.”
He said: “The Badal duo has deputed KS Pannu, IAS, to immediately arrange for helicopters and rescue stranded pilgrims. The SAD-BJP government has been making false claims for the last two days of evacuating 300 pilgrims by making helicopter sorties to Govind Dham through its official press release.”
Khaira, a former MLA, said: “It has now come to light that the so called helicopter arranged by the government is itself stranded at Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun and has not made even a single sortie to rescue pilgrims. These allegations have come from none less than the vice-chairman of Shri Hemkunt Sahib Management Trust, Narinderjit Singh Bindra.”
Making false claims for political gains is nothing but betrayal of pilgrims by the CM and the Deputy CM, he added.
Khaira asked: “It is also ironic that why the state government had to wait for many days to arrange for helicopter when two helicopters of the Punjab government were parked idle at Chandigarh. Now that the CM and Deputy CM are in London with their family, could they not have spared the two government helicopters for the pilgrims?”
“If the state government can continue to pay Rs 1.40 lakh per hour for a hired helicopter despite purchasing their own helicopter for Rs 38 crore, why were not the helicopters used to rescue ordinary Punjabi’s from Hemkunt Sahib?” he questioned.
He said: “Similarly, the SGPC too has faltered in its sacred duty to help and rescue thousands of Sikh pilgrims stranded at Hemkunt Sahib. The SGPC has a budget of hundreds of crore at its disposal and if it cannot utilise its money for the safety of ‘sangat’, it is futile to call itself the representative body of the Sikhs.”
Urging the Badal duo to tender an unconditional apology to the Punjabis for their gross failure to rescue the stranded pilgrims, Khaira said the CM must direct his government to immediately send both its helicopters for rescue of thousands of people stuck in Uttarakhand.
Source: The Tribune