Set own house in order: Badal to Bhattal

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Chandigarh, May 29 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today described the UT administration's token ''detention of some Congressmen as totally unnecessary''.

At a hurriedly convened press conference at his residence this afternoon, Mr Badal asked the UT authorities to immediately "annul the action and not to persist with such needless tokenism." He, however, did not rule out the possibility of the entire show being ''stage-managed between the Congress leaders and the authorities in the UT which is administered by the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre''.

He said that the Congress show was the result ''merely of their internal battles for supremacy by indulging in louder and louder anti-Akalism and anti-Badalism'' ''But I am not sure how impressed Mrs. Sonia Gandhi would be with these pathetic theatricals of her party men and women," said the CM.

At the same time, the Chief Minister also reiterated his offer to meet Congressmen anywhere they wanted.

''If the UT police does not permit them to meet me in a large delegation, they are more than welcome to do so at any place of their choosing in Punjab'', he said.

The Chief Minister said that he had cancelled all his engagements for the day to be available to the Opposition legislators during their protest visit to his residence and had also instructed his Media Advisor Harcharan Bains to make all arrangements to host the Congress leaders.

Mr Badal also claimed that the Congress leaders had become ''frustration in the wake of their humiliating defeat in each and every election since February 2007 , which had driven them to gimmicks unworthy of senior leaders.'' ''Yet I stand by their right to expression. We live in a Punjab which is a far cry from what it used to be between 2002 and 2007 when the Opposition leaders were thrown behind bars, cane-charged and even water-cannoned. We do not want and will not allow Punjab to return to those dark days," said the Chief Minister.

When asked whether he missed "a prominent Congress face (Amarinder Singh) in the Opposition's protests, Mr Badal quipped "That prominent face is busy with more engaging commitments and a 'bigger cause.' Speaking in the same vein, the Chief Minister also advised Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal to "set her own house in order'' before publicising her quarrels with her ''good political rivals''.

''After all, it is the duty of every head of the family to smoothen family affairs before picking up quarrels with neighbours," Mr Badal added.

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