The Congress, attacking the ruling AAP over the clashes in Patiala on Sunday said it cannot evade responsibility for the "crumbling" law-and-order situation in Punjab and asked why its national convener Arvind Kejriwal was "shying away" from appealing for peace.
Congress leader Alka Lamba alleged that with the Aam Aadmi Party now in the government of a full state, the chief minister of Delhi was using the police against his political opponents.
Alka Lamba, who had been summoned over a case of "inflammatory statements" against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, appeared before the Punjab police in Rupnagar on Wednesday. She recalled that Rahul Gandhi had appealed to the people of Punjab during assembly elections to cast their vote bearing in mind that Punjab is a sensitive border state, Attacking the AAP.
"We have seen a lot of violence and sacrifices in the history of Punjab, we cannot take it lightly," she told reporters at the AICC headquarters in Delhi.
The Delhi chief minister keeps saying that since police and law and order are not in his hands, he cannot do anything in Delhi, Lamba said. "Today the law and order is completely crumbling in Punjab. Khalistani supporters were there, they are there. All know it, whether it is the intelligence agencies at the Centre, the police in Punjab or those whose government is there," she said.
"Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Ji not sending out a single tweet appealing for peace somewhere shows the fear that if you comment on the violence in Patiala, it will anger your Khalistani supporters," she alleged.
"I think both the governments (at Centre and state) are playing with fire because Punjab is a border state. They cannot run away from their accountability, neither will Congress allow them to do so," Lamba said.
Two groups had clashed in Patiala on Friday over an anti-Khalistan march, hurling stones at each other and brandishing swords, forcing the police to fire in the air to bring the situation under control.
The number of accused who had been nabbed so far reached nine, with the arrest of six more people, police said. Lamba also accused the AAP of peddling "soft Hindutva".
Referring to the AAP's plan to float 'tiranga shakhas' in Uttar Pradesh on the lines of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Lamba said AAP leaders are coming up with all these programmes on RSS lines and "sadly" involving the national flag in their "pretence".
"Their (RSS and AAP's) thinking, their methods are the same. One is walking on the line of radical Hindutva, the other wants to follow soft Hindutva. But this is a secular country," she said.
"This country will run by the independence given in the Constitution and not by the modalities of the Sangh and the BJP's A, B, C, D teams," Lamba said.
(with inputs from PTI)