Ready to return Padma Shri for arrest of Badal, Saini: Phoolka

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HS Phoolka File Photo

Chandigarh, August 12: Reacting to Congress ministers ‘jibe’, former AAP MLA HS Phoolka said that he was ready to return his Padma Shri if that was the pre-condition for arresting former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and former DGP Sumdeh Singh Saini in the Behbal Kalan police firing incident case.

Raising voice against the government’s “inaction”, Phoolka had resigned from the Punjab Vidhan Sabha last year. But his resignation was accepted by Speaker Rana KP Singh last week only after Phoolka threatened to move the Supreme Court against the delay in acceptance of the resignation. Phoolka had appealed to five other MLAs also to resign from the Vidhan Sabha.

However, reacting to Phoolka’s resignation, in a joint statement issued on Sunday, Punjab Cabinet Ministers Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Sukbinder Singh Sarkaria and Gurpreet Singh Kangar called it a mere a “political stunt”.

The ministers had challenged Phoolka that if he was genuinely concerned about the issue and its implications, he should have returned the Padma Shri awarded to him by the BJP government, which had pressurised the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into filing a closure report in the sensitive Bargari case.

Now reacting to the minister’s challenge, Phoolka said that if returning Padma Shri is pre-condition to arrest Badal and Saini, he is even ready for that. Phoolka said that he was awarded Padma Shri for leading legal battle of victims of 1984 Sikh massacre in Delhi. He said that he will return the award very next day, when the government will put Badal and Saini behind bars. He alleged that the government wanted the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission to die a slow death, which he won’t let happen.