Patiala, Punjab: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday stepped up its attack on the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) by questioning the party on its contribution to the welfare and rehabilitation of the 1984 riot victims, how much did it spend on their welfare and who received the money.
Supreme Court lawyer HS Phoolka — AAP’s candidate from Ludhiana who was here to support the party’s Patiala nominee, Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, on Wednesday — said deputy chief minister (CM) Sukhbir Singh Badal had been concocting facts on SAD’s contribution to the rehabilitation of the riot victims.
Accompanied by Gandhi, Phoolka took part in a road show in the city. Speaking on its sidelines, Phoolka said Sukhbir had kept quiet after accusing him (Phoolka) of charging hefty fee for fighting cases related to the 1984 riots. He said this was because Sukhbir could not produce evidence to back his claim.
Following Sukhbir’s statement in February this year, Phoolka had said that he would quit his profession if Sukhbir could prove his allegation. “I am still waiting for Sukhbir’s response,” Phoolka said.
“They (SAD and Sukhbir) have tried their best by directing Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandkh Committee (SGPC) and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee ( DSGMC), and approaching riot victims personally, to collect evidence against me.But they have got nothing to support Sukhbir’s allegations,” he said. “Has Sukhbir managed to prove his allegation against me? I would not take a minute to step down as AAP’s candidate and quit my profession (if Sukhbir does so),” he said.
Downplaying CM Parkash Singh Badal’s statement on SAD’s contribution to the commutation of Devinderpal Singh Bhullar’s death penalty, Phoolka said it was the AAP government in Delhi which filed an affidavit to commute his death penalty in the Supreme Court. “It was the AAP government which submitted the affidavit on the basis of which the final verdict was passed,” he said.
Dr Gandhi, on the other hand, used Operation Bluestar to attack the Congress and the SAD: “Operation Bluestar was part of a conspiracy hatched by the Congress in Delhi and the Akali Dal in Punjab to garner Hindu votes. First, terrorism was brought in to terrorise the Hindu community. Then, to please them, Sikh hardliners were crushed with tanks and guns,” he said. At the road show, SAD local leader Harjit Singh, who was once close to Anandpur Sahib SAD candidate Prem Singh Chandumajra, joined AAP.