Coercive tactics used to force Manjinder Sirsa to join BJP: Sukhbir

  • | Thursday | 2nd December, 2021

Chandigarh, Dec 2 (PTI) Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday alleged that coercive tactics were used to put pressure on Manjinder Singh Sirsa to join the BJP. Sirsa has been a prominent face of the Akali Dal in Delhi and was a strong supporter of the farmers" protests against the three contentious farm laws. Badal said that the BJP-led government at the Centre is stooping to a new low in abusing power to deal with democratic opposition. "You suppress the DSGMC president, slap cases and then point a gun on his head telling either you leave (SAD) or you will be sent behind the bars," Badal said. "But I am so disappointed and sad that instead of being true to the traditions of his religion against repression, Sirsa chose to bow down. This was disgraceful, especially coming from someone on whom the Sikh ‘qaum’ (community) and the SAD have bestowed so much honour," Badal said. He said Punjab is a border state and his party is an example of mutual brotherhood. "If the Centre thinks it will weaken the SAD, they will not succeed," he said. "I am sad that politics has come down to this level that they are using such tactics to suppress political rivals. In a democratic set up, such things should not have happened," said Badal. Launching a frontal attack on the BJP and the central government, Badal, who was in Jalandhar, alleged that "coercive and dirty tactics" were used to secure Sirsa"s entry into the BJP. “This is BJP"s revenge against us for standing by our principles, breaking the alliance with them and quitting the cabinet to stand by farmers. But we have no regrets whatsoever. In fact, we are very proud of what we did then," Badal said. "We are ready for repression, oppression and conspiracies and will defeat them," said Badal. A day earlier, SAD had hit out at its leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa after he joined the BJP ahead of Assembly polls in Punjab and said he betrayed the "Khalsa Panth" and switched over as a case was registered against him. A SAD statement had earlier said a case was registered against Sirsa, SAD Delhi president Jathedar Harmeet Singh Kalka and 11 other members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, which was headed by Sirsa. "But while all other members lived up to the traditions of the Khalsa Panth in fighting repression, it is unfortunate that Sirsa buckled under pressure and betrayed the Khalsa Panth and spirit," it had said. Badal said "this new attack is a continuation of the old tactics of mixing repression, oppression and conspiracy to break the spirit of the Sikh qaum". "Let them try everything. Repression cannot break us. The Mughals tried it. The British tried it. The Congress rulers including Indira Gandhi tried it. The whole world knows what the outcome was then. It will be no different this time," he said. Badal said that Sirsa leaving SAD will not impact them as he has no following in the state. "Everybody in Punjab knows that he has no roots here," he said. PTI SUN RDK RDK

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