Congress: Boycott Narendra Modi's 'Fateh' rally

Written by PTI | Amritsar | Updated: Feb 23 2014, 18:11pm hrs
Congress urged members of the Sikh community and the people of Punjab in general to boycott the rally which BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold in the state.

Alleging that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had a "communal face", state Congress spokesperson and former MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira said that the proposed 'Fateh' rally at Jagraon on February 23 should be boycotted by the people of Punjab.

Addressing a press conference here today, Khaira also said that Bharatiya Janata Party should be taught a lesson in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in view of its "anti-Punjab" and "anti-Sikh" policies.

Narendra Modi had tried to uproot more than 50,000 Sikh families from the Kutch region of Gujarat, Khaira alleged, adding that, "to rub salt into the wounds of Sikh farmers, (the Gujarat CM) was now organising the 'Fateh' rally in Punjab".

Although the Sikh farmers had won their case in Ahmedabad High Court, Narendra Modi had approached Supreme Court to oppose any relief to them, Khaira added.

Meanwhile, talking about Operation Bluestar, Khaira further charged that senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders LK Advani and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had played a vital role in pressuring the then prime minister Indira Gandhi to order the military strike at Golden Temple.

In support of his allegations, Khaira then displayed pictures of Advani leading a protest march in Delhi in May, 1984, urging Gandhi to send the Army to Punjab.

Operation Bluestar had taken place in June, 1984.

Khaira also cited excerpts from Advani's book, 'My Country My Life' to support his allegations.

"One of the major mass agitations in the history of BJP was launched in the first week of May, 1984, when we undertook a 10-day satyagraha against... the government's 'virtual surrender' before (Jarnail Singh) Bhindranwale and his private army who had made the Golden Temple... their operational headquarters," Khaira quoted from Advani's book.

The Congress spokesman further said that, "I question (Bharatiya Janata Party ally, Shiromani Akali Dal) as to what victory ('Fateh') has the party achieved that it requires a rally to eulogise Modi

"Is the rally to celebrate the eviction of 50,000 Sikh farmers from Gujarat by Narendra Modi or is to celebrate the role of Vajpayee, Advani and others in pressuring the government to order Operation Bluestar"