Punjab Congress chief Raja Warring slams CM Mann for not visiting Patiala after violence

Chandigarh, May 1

Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring on Sunday slammed Mann for not visiting Patiala after a violence there when he should have been “most visible”.

In an apparent reference to AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal, Warring said it bodes ill for a sensitive state like Punjab that its chief minister was “completely dependent on and subservient to someone else”.

“Even his (Maan’s) pre-recorded messages, broadcast every now and then, have an external imprint.

“Punjab cannot afford a chief minister who cannot act on his own and needs to be continuously programmed by someone else,” the state Congress chief claimed.

Two groups had clashed on Friday in Patiala over an anti-Khalistan march, hurling stones at each other, and forcing police to fire in the air to bring the situation under control.

The Punjab police booked 25 accused by name so far in six FIRs registered in connection with Friday’s incident which left four persons injured.

“It is surprising that the chief minister is out of action, vanishing completely on a day when he should be the most visible and involved in the affairs of the state,” Warring said in a statement here.

“We understand that yesterday you (Mann) were scheduled to attend the chief ministers’ conference in Delhi. But why did you not visit the city (Patiala) today?” he posed.

Taking a swipe at Mann, Warring said, “Probably because your master is busy and away in Gujarat and you can’t take a step outside or utter a word without his permission.”

Punjab BJP general secretary Subhash Sharma also hit out at the chief minister Mann for blaming two political parties for the violence in Patiala.

Saying that police have arrested the alleged mastermind Barjinder Singh Parwana, Sharma asked which political party did Parwana belong to.

“The Punjab Police is saying that Parwana is the mastermind while you (Mann) are blaming the opposition parties. Nothing can be more shameful than this,” the BJP leader said.

According to the police, Parwana, a resident of Rajpura in the district, is one of the masterminds of Friday’s incident. He had been accused of provoking the Sikh radicals to move towards the Kali Mata temple on Friday.

Mann on Saturday said the clashes in Patiala were between two political parties and not two communities.

“This was a clash between two political parties and not between two communities. In Punjab, people live in peace. A probe is going on over who instigated the violence. No one will be spared,” Mann had said in Delhi.

Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang on Sunday said those trying to disturb the peace and communal harmony in the state would not be spared and added that the chief minister monitored the whole situation.

Any activity that disturbs peace and brotherhood in Punjab will not be tolerated, Kang said.

“Punjab does not need ‘Khalistan’ or such anti-Punjab narrative. Today Punjab needs to get back on the path of progress, our youth and farmers need to be saved, and Punjab’s water and natural resources need our attention.

“The Mann government is working tirelessly to take Punjab forward in the right direction, and to end mafia and corruption,” he said.

The clash in Patiala was the first major law-and-order incident in the state under the Bhagwant Mann government.

Opposition parties had attacked the AAP dispensation of Punjab, alleging that law and order in the state has collapsed.

Punjab Congress chief Raja Warring slams CM Mann for not visiting Patiala after violence