Akalis, BJP thank people for peaceful 'bandh'

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Chandigah, May 22 (UNI) The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and its alliance partner the BJP have thanked the people of Punjab for maintaining peace and communal harmony during the Akal Takht- sponsored state-wide bandh today.

In seprate statements issued here, SAD acting president Sukhbir Singh Badal thanked the Hindus for expressing solidarity with Sikhs ''in this hour of anguish and stress,'' for the latter community.

He said the show of solidarity has defeated the conspiracy of those who had started the Sacha Sauda controversy in order to break the bonds of communal harmony in Punjab.

Mr Badal also had a word of praise for the Punjab administration for handling a delicate situation with ''professionalism''. He also thanked leaders of various religious bodies, organisations and youth Akali workers for supporting the bandh.

He said SAD's alliance partner, the BJP had played a commendable role in making the bandh a success.

Meanwhile state BJP chief Rajinder Bhandari who had yesterday said the government would be responsible for any untoward incident during the bandh, also expressed his gratitude to the people of the state for maintaining peace, brotherhood and harmony during today's bandh.

''BJP appreciates the role of Sikh organisations for holding this bandh peacefully,'' he said.

''The BJP feels that the role of the government in handling the situation with alertness and firmness is quite satisfactory and expects from the government that the same role will continue in coming days,'' Prof Bhandari said.

Prof Bhandari appealed to Dera Sacha Sauda to restrain from taking any action which may precipitate the situation. He also appealed to all political parties to contribute for restoring peace in Punjab.


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