Escalating the political crisis in the State, Punjab’s Advocate General (A-G) A.P.S. Deol broke his silence to launch a scathing attack on Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Navjot Singh Sidhu, who in turn, as a part of public posturing, visited the gurdwara in Faridkot from where a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib was stolen in 2015.
Mr. Sidhu has been questioning the Charanjit Singh Channi-led Congress government on the steps taken for the delivery of justice in sacrilege cases, and also asked the government to make public the Special Task Force’s report in drug cases in the past 50 days.
In a statement released on Saturday, Mr. Deol said that Mr. Sidhu’s repeated utterances seek to derail the earnest efforts of the State Government to ensure justice in the “drugs matter” and the “sacrilege cases”.
“Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu is spreading misinformation to gain political advantage over his political colleagues. There is a concerted attempt by vested interests to malign the functioning of the Congress party in view of the coming elections in Punjab for selfish political gain by politicising the Constitutional office of the Advocate General of Punjab,” Mr. Deol stated.
Mr. Deol’s remarks came a day after Mr. Sidhu withdrew his resignation as Punjab Congress chief but declared that he will not resume charge till Mr. Deol was removed as A-G and a panel set up for the appointment of a new Director General of Police (DGP), replacing Preet Singh Sahota. Mr. Sidhu resigned from the PCC president’s post on September 28, after the Punjab CM, Mr. Channi, picked Mr. Deol and Mr. Sahota as A-G and DGP, respectively.
Mr. Deol had represented former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini in cases related to the 2015 sacrilege incidents and police firing on protesters, while Mr. Sahota was the head of the Special Investigation Team formed by the previous Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatia Janata Party government to probe the sacrilege incidents.
The A-G’s statement is a clear indication that Mr. Channi is digging in his heels and does not want to concede any more ground to Mr. Sidhu. Mr. Deol’s removal will render Mr. Channi’s leadership ineffective, especially so close to the Assembly polls.
Equally, Mr. Sidhu’s visit to the Faridkot gurudwara indicates he is in no mood to back down.
Uploading long videos and several pictures from his visit, Mr. Sidhu tweeted, “Ardas at Gurudwaara saheb Burj Jawahar Singh wala , Bargari …. Praying for exemplary punishment for those involved in the sacrilege of Guru Granth saheb ji … should be a deterrent for generations to come!”