Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday said Khalistan supporters were getting funding from Pakistan and other countries, amid the ongoing turmoil in his state surrounding the recent activities of Khalistani sympathiser Amritpal Singh and his supporters.
Without revealing any concrete strategy to tackle Khalistani elements, Mann, who was in Gujarat, said the Punjab Police were capable of handling the issue and only a handful of persons were supporting the pro-Khalistan movement in Punjab.
"Do you think 1,000 people (who have been seen shouting pro-Khalistan slogans) represent the entire Punjab? You come to Punjab and see for yourself who all are shouting such slogans," Mann said when asked what he had to say about pro-Khalistan slogans being raised in his state after Singh's episode.
He was addressing a press conference in Bhavnagar city of Gujarat after attending a mass wedding function.
"Only a handful of persons are behind this and they run their shops through funding from Pakistan and other foreign countries," Mann said.
"Though Rajasthan shares a much larger border with Pakistan, why do drones (sent from Pakistan) land in Punjab and not in Rajasthan? Because their (Khalistani element's) masters are sitting there (in Pakistan) and they want to disturb Punjab. But we will not let them succeed," the CM said.
Referring to Khalistani sympathiser Amritpal Singh and his supporters' act of bringing a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib inside a police station in Ajnala on the outskirts of Amritsar recently, Mann said those who took the Sikh holy book to the police station as a shield cannot be called as "waris" (heir) of Punjab.
The Punjab CM also termed the incident as a minor one and downplayed Singh's alleged threat of more violence in coming days.
"This is khayali pulao (daydreaming). Punjab has seen such black days in the past. The Punjab Police are capable of handling them and we will never allow anyone to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere," he said.
Mann further said thanks to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab, many industries were coming, including Tata Steel and entities from other countries.
"Had Punjab's situation been so bad, these industries may not have been coming to Punjab today. Even NRIs are coming back and those who planned to settle abroad have now cancelled their plans. Punjab will shine again after six-seven months," said the CM.
He also said the AAP government has already provided 27,000 new government jobs to youth while 28,000 contractual employees have been absorbed as regular government employees.
"Punjab will soon become a drug-free zone because we are giving jobs to the youth. Moreover, industry will also create more employment opportunities. Once the youth get work, they will not seek refuge in those bad habits," Mann said.
The AAP leader also criticised the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre over the questioning of Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Delhi excise police case.
"Raj Bhavans in the country are turning into BJP headquarters and governors are acting like BJP's star campaigners. In a democracy, elected persons take decisions, not the selected one. The AAP knows how to fight and we are not afraid of the CBI or ED. They are wrong if they are under the impression that we will get scared if Sisodia is arrested," Mann said.
-With PTI Input