Moga, Aug 10: Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal Friday lashed out at the Congress-led UPA government for failing to check hate crimes against Sikhs residing in foreign countries, particularly Philippines.
Speaking to reporters after administering oath of office to newly elected 344 sarpanches and 2,457 panches of Moga district here, he said it was unfortunate that every third day, a Sikh was being murdered in Manila and the Centre has failed to seriously address the issue.
"It is a matter of shame that the Centre has not even written a single letter to the government in Philippines against this, even though the Union Minister of State for External Affairs is from Punjab," he said.
Responding to a question on Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa's comments on IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, Sukhbir said Congress has lost its moral right to say anything on illegal sand mining as only yesterday, the mining mafia tried to kill the SDM of Nalagarh in Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh.
"The mining lobby, whether in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab or in Karnataka, has direct patronage of Congress politicians who have been controlling the supply and demand of mining products to keep their prices artificially high," he said.
Sukhbir said the state Congress president should stage a dharna before the Union Environment Ministry as an MP and get all pending case of mining cleared to ease the situation in the state.
When questioned about repeated barging of Congress MLAs in the Chief Minister's Sangat Darshan programmes, he said it only shows the programme's effectiveness at ground level.
"The Chief Minister welcomes every citizen of Punjab irrespective of their party affiliation. Everyone is welcome to the Sangat Darshan programmes, till the person doesn't come to disrupt it and create media hype," the deputy chief minister said.