Badal, Feb 1: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said incidents of sacrilege of holy books and the Bathinda car blast could be part of a "deep-rooted conspiracy" to divide Punjabis and ruin the hard earned peace and communal harmony in the state.
"Dangers to peace lurk around the corner and it needs the maximum vigil on the part of the government and the people to keep the enemies of peace at bay. There is a conspiracy to bring back the old dark days in Punjab," he said.
Badal said he was not "surprised" that every mischievous act is followed by a sustained political campaign to malign the SAD-BJP government. That has been a set pattern since the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib, he said, adding it is "unfortunate" that responsible political parties and their leaders hobnobbed with elements opposed to peace. They have worked together with these elements only to weaken Akalis, he said.
"Every act of anti-peace elements is followed by a sustained political assault against SAD as our enemies believe that they cannot achieve their goals without weakening the SAD politically. These elements have been getting active and unethical support from our political rivals," he said. Badal said elements out to disturb peace believe that it will be much easier to achieve their destructive goals if SAD could be removed from the way.
"That is why they regard me and SAD as their enemy number one," he said. In this, they have found a friend in our political opponents and they have joined hands at the cost of peace in the state, the Chief Minister said. There was clearly a conspiracy to destabilise peace in Punjab and blame SAD-BJP alliance for it. The sacrilege incidents and the blast are links in the same chain, he said.
The Chief Minister said the SAD will always stand as "the tallest and immovable rock to safeguard peace and communal harmony in Punjab against elements who are out to set the state a fire. I have devoted my life to preserving peace in Punjab and I will happily shed the last drop of my blood doing so."
On last night's blast, Badal said this appears to be the climax of a series of conspiracies which started with shocking incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in the state. It is clear that a deep rooted conspiracy is at work to disturb peace and communal harmony in Punjab, he said.
"The SAD has defended peace and communal harmony like a rock during these 10 years. Right now, however, the administrative machinery is at the disposal of the Election Commission. Everything, including the police, is controlled by the EC. The enemies of peace have chosen this moment to strike as they know that the law enforcing machinery is focused on the conduct of elections," he said.
Earlier in the day, Badal had strongly condemned the blast at Maur Mandi in Bathinda in which six persons were killed, and had urged people to exercise calm and said those involved in it would be dealt with severely.