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Akali groups clash minutes after CM’s event

Akali groups clash minutes after CM’s event
Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal’s son Anantbir Singh sits next to CM Parkash Singh Badal at his Sangat Darshan at Channu village in Muktsar on Friday. a tribune photographTwo factions of the ruling Akali Dal clashed as soon as Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s cavalcade left the Sangat Darshan venue here today.The groups clashed despite heavy police presence on the spot. While the policemen remained mute spectators, some locals intervened and pacified the warring groups. It has been learnt that Jalaur Singh, son of village sarpanch, and Sandeep Singh, son of a panchayat member, slapped each other.The differences between the Akali groups came to fore even during the Chief Minister’s presence as they objected to each other’s demand thrice, but Badal pacified them every time.Sources said the clash was over alleged poor quality material used for the construction of the village’s waterworks.Kuldeep Singh, a Mann village resident, showing reply he had got under the RTI Act, said, “Despite Rs 1.5 crore being spent on the waterworks, it has major faults, including leakage. A probe was marked to the technical adviser to the Chief Minister, but nothing has emerged to date.”At the Sangat Darshan, the Chief Minister dubbed the call for protests by the Congress on the issue of drugs as a “political gimmick”. He alleged the Congress leadership was shedding crocodile tears over a sensitive issue.Interacting with mediapersons, the Chief Minister dared the Congress to list any achievement for checking supply of drugs through the international border when the UPA Government was in power at the Centre. “The Punjab Congress leaders have remained tightlipped all these years on such a grave issue concerning the state,” he said.Badal alleged the Congress leadership was resorting to cheap tactics to score brownie points before the media.The Chief Minister claimed Punjab was fighting the nation’s war against drugs as the state was on the transit route of the drug supply chain across the international border.Badal said it was due to this reason that the Akali Dal had decided to initiate “mass awareness campaign” against the drug menace in the state. He said as part of this initiative, protests would be held at Attari, Hussainiwala and Sadki border areas on January 5.On urea shortage, the Chief Minister said the state had received far more urea as compared to the corresponding period last year.Also, Badal reiterated that the Union Government must intervene for securing the release of Sikh prisoners who were languishing in various jails across the country even after completion of their sentence.

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