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Rajnath tells Badal to keep the peace
Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | May 22, 2007 12:54 IST
Last Updated: May 22, 2007 13:38 IST
The raging controversy in Punjab created by Dera Sacha Sauda has put the Bharatiya Janata Party, an ally of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, in a tight spot.
The BJP cannot take the issue lightly because it is an ally of the ruling party and it will be difficult for it to escape the blame if the law and order worsens.
The BJP had called for a media conference to discuss the functioning of the three-year-old United Progressive Alliance government.
But, party president Rajnath Singh was flooded with question on the Dera controversy and he had to be careful not to say anything that would embarrass Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal.
Rajnath, however, said: "The situation in Punjab is very serious. I have spoken to the chief minister twice and have told him to maintain peace at any cost."
But Rajnath refused to answer when asked about Badal's call for the Dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to apologise for imitating the tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh. He stuck to the line that the situation in Punjab is quite serious and that the BJP is concerned.
In fact, the issue completely overshadowed the long list of failures of UPA rule that the BJP had prepared.
Rajnath assured the media that the BJP is keeping a watch on the events in Punjab and wants to see that situation doesn't turn violent.