Chandigarh, Nov 21: Senior Congress leader Amarinder Singh on Saturday dared Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to book his party leaders for sedition if he had any evidence of Congress leaders' "anti-national activities".
Amarinder Singh, the former Punjab chief minister, rubbished Sukhbir Singh Badal's claims made on Saturday in New Delhi that the "Congress was supporting the radical and anti-national forces".
Sukhbir Singh Badal is "simply trying to shift the blame for his own failures on the Congress", said Amarinder Singh, the Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha.
"Instead of running away to Delhi and crying wolf there, why don't you book us for sedition if you have proof that we are indulging in anti-national activities," Amarinder Singh said.
His reaction came after Sukhbir Singh Badal took a delegation of Akali Dal leaders to President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday and later held a press conference in New Delhi.
The Akali Dal-BJP alliance led Punjab government has been on the backfoot for the last two months following protests by radicals after incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib led to violence across the state.
"We, in Congress, do not need any lessons on patriotism and nationalism from someone like Sukhbir Badal, whose father and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal still takes pride in having burnt the copies of the Constitution of India during Khalistan movement," Amarinder Singh said.
Referring to the 'Sarbat Khalsa' (religious congregation of Sikhs) held at Amritsar on November 10, Amarinder Singh said the presence of a huge number of people there showed anger against the Badal government and it was not to support Khalistan, as is being projected by Sukhbir Singh Badal and Khalistan protagonist Simranjit Singh Mann together.
On Sukhbir Badal's claims that he had proof how anti-national resolutions at the Sarbat Khalsa were prepared and passed, Amarinder Singh questioned the deputy chief minister's capabilities.
"What was he doing as the deputy chief minister and home minister of the state? Does his responsibility finish at blaming the Congress? He should better own the moral responsibility and resign," Amarinder Singh said.
Amarinder Singh said the Badals (chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Badal and union minister Harsimrat Badal) and their ministers were not even being allowed to go out in the public due to the public ire.
"Sukhbir is only betraying his frustration and congenital obsession of blaming Congress for their own wrongs. It is natural for Sukhbir and his father to feel frustrated that when Rahul Gandhi is hailed and welcomed with open arms across Punjab while going on padyatra, the Badals cannot even dare to venture out lest people thrash them like their ministers," Amarinder Singh said.
Criticising Sukhbir Singh Badal for the tirade against the Congress party, Amarinder Singh said: "Only a week ago, Sukhbir said that the ISI was behind all the trouble in Punjab. And now, all of a sudden he has woken up to the revelations that Congress was behind all this."