Capt. Amarinder says Akalis, BJP as much responsible for Operation Bluestar as Congress

Amritsar, Mar.29: Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday said that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) led by Parkash Singh Badal and the Bhartiya Janata Party were as much responsible for Operation Bluestar as the Congress.

He also agreed with the suggestion that a ‘Fact Finding Commission’ could be set up to reveal the actual truth about Operation Bluestar and find out the involvement of people responsible for it.

He said while the Operation Bluestar was carried out by the Congress government, Badal and L.K. Advani were equally responsible as both had recommended it.

He said while Mr Advani has mentioned it himself in his autobiography ‘My Country My Life’ that how he led a protest march seeking military action in Darbar Sahib, Badal had sought military action during a secret meeting with the then union Home Minister.

The Congress leader asked Badal and Advani whether they were prepared to apologise like Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had done.

He also lashed out at SAD general secretary Harcharan Singh Bains for saying that Sonia Gandhi had not apologised for Operation Bluestar nor had she visited Darbar Sahib.

He said the Akali general secretary appears to have made this statement when he was not in his senses as is normal with him, as otherwise he should not be making such an incorrect statement.

He pointed out, it is well recorded and anybody can verify it from news archives.

Replying to a question on the issue during a press conference here, Capt. Amarinder said Punjab needs to move ahead.

At the same time he sought answers from Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to his charges that he had recommended military action in Darbar Sahib during his secret meeting with the then Union Home Minister P V Narsimha Rao on March 28, 1984.

Capt Amarinder disclosed that he was involved with the negotiations on the issue between 1980 and 1984 as he was assigned the duty by the Prime Minister Ms Indira Gandhi.

He said, Sant Harchand Singh Longowal had authorised three people Parkash Singh Badal, Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Surjit Singh Barnala to hold negotiations with the government of India together.

“But why did Badal meet Rao secretly on his own and what transpired in that meeting”, Capt Amarinder asked Mr Badal while quoting the government of India white paper on the issue.

Capt Amarinder also took a dig at BJP leader Arun Jaitely for claiming that Badal’s era was always the era of peace in Punjab.

“Does Jaitely know that it was Badal who was actually responsible for the problem in Punjab and when he pushed Punjab into turmoil, he went himself into hiding”, he said.

The Congress leader also said that it was the Congress which brought peace and the Congress Chief Minister Beant Singh laid down his life while Badal had gone himself into hiding.

“Only after peace was established in Punjab with the sacrifice of Congress leaders like Beant Singh, Badal emerged from hiding to enjoy the comforts of power”, he added. By: Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)