Minister for Cooperation and Jails Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa today lashed out at the Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal for playing politics over release of Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted for the assassination of former Chief Minister Beant Singh.
Reacting to Sukhbir’s appeal to the President to pardon Rajoana and release him, Randhawa asked as to why he (Sukhbir) did not raise this demand when his party was part of the National Democratic Alliance government at the centre. He said, since the Akalis were now out of power they were trying to raise the Rajoana issue to make political capital out of it.
The Jails Minister disclosed that when the Punjab government had pardoned prisoners to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, it had also proposed to the central government that all those prisoners who had already spent the maximum punishment period of their sentence and were still languishing in different jails should be released.
“Why did not Ms Harsimrat Kaur Badal, as she was a central minister then, take up the demand with the government and help in their release?” he asked, while disclosing that the central government was still sitting over the issue.
Senior Congress leader said, this was so characteristic of the Akalis that while in power they forget everything including Punjab and the panth as they remain obsessed with their self interest and once they are out of power, they start remembering the panth and the panthic issues just to take political mileage.
S Randhawa asked Sukhbir Badal as why he did not raise the matter in the parliament or during the Prime Minister and the President’s visit to Punjab during the 550thbirth centenary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev. “Doing it now is only aimed at gaining some political mileage as otherwise Sukhbir has never been sincere about anything”, he remarked.