Sukhbir links AAP to Punjab radicals, AAP seeks evidence
Chandigarh, Aug 10 (IANS) Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday urged the central government to thoroughly investigate funding received by the AAP and its leaders, alleging that radicals from Punjab had aligned themselves with the outfit.
Badal, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal President, said the Punjab government has already conveyed information to the Union Home Minister and the National Security Adviser about Pakistan’s plans to destabilize the situation in Punjab before assembly polls due next year.
The AAP leadership in Punjab and Delhi hit back, asking Badal to provide evidence of his allegations.
“Leaders of radical groups have been regularly meeting the convener of AAP and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Radical leaders like Mohkam Singh were trying their best to utilise the 2017 elections as an opportunity to destabilize peace and harmony attained by people of Punjab after great sacrifices,” Badal said.
“It is unfortunate that Kejriwal was in touch with such elements despite being on a very important constitutional post. I want a thorough investigation into AAP funding to expose the dangerous truth behind it,” Badal told media persons here.
“All radicals have got aligned with them. I am saying this with responsibility. The government of India should clearly investigate the funding of AAP,” Badal said.
“The radical groups of Punjab have been regularly meeting Kejriwal. What is the purpose of the Delhi Chief Minister meeting radical groups of Punjab?” said Badal, who is Punjab’s Home Minister.
Dismissing Badal’s allegations, Aam Aadmi Party leader and lawyer H.S. Phoolka said in Amritsar on Wednesday: “He (Sukhbir Badal) calls everyone a radical. For him, even I am a radical.”
Phooka said Badal had a “habit of making allegations” and demanded that he (Badal) should substantiate what he is claiming.
In Delhi, the AAP demanded that Badal should provide evidence of AAP’s links with radicals.
“He should refrain from making allegations. He should provide evidence and put us in jail. He does not have facts,” an AAP spokesman said.
Expressing concern over recent incidents in Punjab, Badal said Pakistan’s Inter-State Intelligence had plans to target important leaders, besides designing sacrileges, to destabilize peace and harmony in the state.
“Our police is doing its job in the best way possible. Punjab Police has busted many modules and arrested people from abroad also in this connection,” Badal added.
The AAP has emerged as a strong challenger to the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance government, which is in power here since 2007, and the Congress for the assembly elections to be held in February next year.