Sacrilege cases: Will return my Padma Shri if Punjab govt arrests Badal and Saini, says Phoolka

Phoolka was reacting to a statement issued by four Congress ministers that his resignation from the state Assembly was a stunt aimed at hogging the public limelight amidst his “dwindling political presence” in the state.

Former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA and senior advocate H S Phoolka on Monday said he would return his Padma Shri if the Congress government in Punjab puts former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and ex-DGP Sumedh Singh Saini behind bars in connection with the sacrilege cases.

He was reacting to a statement issued by four Congress ministers that his resignation from the state Assembly was a stunt aimed at hogging the public limelight amidst his “dwindling political presence” in the state.

Phoolka had on Saturday asked all MLAs who had raised the Bargari sacrilege issue in the Assembly to resign.

In a joint statement issued here on Sunday, Cabinet ministers Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Sukbinder Singh Sarkaria and Gurpreet Singh Kangar had lashed out at Phoolka for his “senseless and provocative demand for the resignation of the legislators”.

The lawyer said he had been given the Padma Shri for getting Sikhs justice for the 1984 riots and the conviction of Sajjan Kumar. “The Padma Shri is not only for me but for the entire Sikh Qaum. I will return it the very next day when the Punjab government arrests Badal and Saini. The issue here is that the Congress is panicking that its senior leaders are landing behind bars for their crimes in 1984 riots and they want to divert attention from that,” he said.

Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana K P Singh had on Friday accepted the resignation of Phoolka, more than 10 months after he had quit as legislator. Phoolka had stepped down to press for immediate action against those involved in the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in the state in 2015.

While quitting as MLA, he had claimed that the Congress government in the state had not taken the desired action against those named in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on the sacrilege incidents.

(With PTI inputs)

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