A DAY AFTER Shiromani Akali Dal President expressed pain and anguish at the 34th anniversary of army action on Darbar Sahib, Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira has urged him to take up with BJP president Amit Shah the issue of release of rare manuscripts, historic documents and books taken away by the army during Operation Blue Star. Khaira has also urged Badal to use his good offices with BJP president to get all documents, reports related to the army action declassified.
Shah is scheduled to meet former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Badal at former’s residence in Chandigarh. His visit is being considered to be part of the exercise to placate the allies when it is becoming clear that 2019 parliament election would not be a cakewalk for BJP in view of opposition parties holding negotiations to unite and BJP’s allies are also not happy. Shah’s meeting with Shiv Sena chief Udhav Thackrey had also made it clear that the party and its bosses have now mellowed down and are now trying to keep the allies in good humour. It is the time when allies can extract something from BJP if they really wish.
Incidentally this meeting is happening when Sikh community is observing the 34thanniversary of army attack on Darbar Sahib. Only yesterday Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh, while reading out his message to the Sikh community from the Takht, said that Government of India should declassify all the documents related to the army action.
SGPC and SAD have long been demanding that priceless manuscripts, books and historical documents taken away by the Army or other central agencies be returned to the SGPC.
Raising an issue which has been a long pending demand of the Sikh community, LoP Khaira today urged the Badals that they should not just beg for seat sharing and instead should do some good work for the community. It’s time for SAD to try to extract something important for the community when it is desperately trying to recover its lost ground among Sikhs.
Notably, though BJP had supported army action and its leaders had even taken credit for impressing upon Indira Gandhi to take decisive and strong action in 1984 but in the last some years the party has termed the army action a "historical blunder” - Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley used these words before 2009 parliament election.
Another senior BJP MP Dr Subramanian Swamy has been repeatedly saying that army action was wrong and had also advocated declassification of papers related to Op Blue Star.
Will Badals really try to extract something for the community from the BJP at a time when the NDA government’s tenure remains less than an year and party needs to recover its lost base?
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