Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Saturday accused the opposition parties in Punjab of trying to fan communal sentiments to get political benefits and asserted that no one will be allowed to disturb the state's "hard-earned" peace. The opposition hit back at the chief minister, asking him not to blame the rival parties for the "communal frenzy". Mann's remarks came in the backdrop of the opposition targeting his government over the Ajnala incident in which Khalistani sympathiser Amritpal Singh and his followers, some of them brandishing swords and guns, stormed a police station, extracting an assurance from the police that a kidnapping case accused Lovepreet Singh will be released.
In a statement, Mann said he had information of every moment as his government was keeping a strict vigil over "everything" unfolding in the state. "It is shameful that due to the dearth of any issue against the state government, these political parties are stooping too low by indulging in cheap tantrums," the chief minister said.The opposition is "playing with fire for trying to get political benefits by fanning communal sentiments in the state", he alleged. Reacting to it, Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa said the chief minister must not blame the opposition parties for the "communal frenzy" in the state while squarely blaming the AAP government for its "utter failure to rein in the communal forces hence giving them an absolutely free hand to vitiate the hard-earned peace of the state".
"Who could forget the February 23 incident in Ajnala when a mob armed with all sorts of weapons attacked the police station in which six police personnel sustained head injuries including one officer of the rank of superintendent of police," Bajwa said."Till date, no case or an FIR has been registered against the persons who attacked the police personnel," he added.If the Mann government actually wanted to enhance the morale of the Punjab police, then at least a case must have been registered against those who attacked the police officers and the station, the Congress leader said.
On the issue of paramilitary forces sought by Punjab, Bajwa said, "Bhagwant Mann should know law and order is a state subject and it must not surrender this right before the Centre just because it is completely inept and incapable of handling the law-and-order situation." Over Mann's claimed that he had information of every moment of the Ajnala incident, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said the sad thing was that despite the chief minister knowing everything, he was "pushing the state into fire". He asked Mann to "stop bragging and give results".Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma said, "If he has information of every moment, then why was he not taking action?" This means Mann and his government were responsible for it, he alleged.
Earlier, Mann said the nefarious designs of these opposition parties will never succeed."Punjab is a land of great gurus, saints, seers and prophets who have shown us the way of communal harmony, peace and brotherhood," he said and asserted that Punjabis always practice the ethos of peace and brotherhood for progress and prosperity of the state. The chief minister reiterated that his government is committed to preserving the "hard-earned" peace of the state and assured the people that no one will be allowed to cast a "malicious eye" on the peace, progress and prosperity of Punjab.