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June 23, 2024 12:09 am

Congress leader in soup after advocating for Himachal-like tenancy law in Punjab

The Fact News Service
Sangrur (Punjab), May 22

Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira’s alleged statement that people from Bihar will not be able to allowed to purchase property in Punjab has led to a political storm.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Congress at a public rally saying, “A Congress leader from Punjab who is close to the royal family of the party in Delhi has said that people from Bihar should be boycotted in Punjab. The RJD is together with them and asking for votes from you. People from Bihar should neither buy houses in Punjab nor Biharis should have any right in Punjab.”

“They (Congress) have such hatred for people in Bihar in their hearts. Has anyone from the Congress royal family said that such statements are wrong? Here the RJD has blocked their ears,” PM Modi said.

However, Khaira issued a statement saying that people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh who come to Punjab are welcome to live a livelihood in the state but if they want to settle there permanently they need to follow conditions similar to those mentioned in the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy Act 1972.

“We welcome people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh who come to Punjab and work. If any non-Punjabi wants to come here for livelihood and start his family, he is most welcome. But if they want to settle here permanently then they have to follow the conditions similar to those mentioned in Himachal Pradesh Tenancy Act 1972,” Khaira said in a video statement on Wednesday.

“I have this private member’s Bill to the Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha on January 23. I stand by my statement,” he said.

In a post on ‘X’, Khaira said that the BJP is “twisting” his statement to incite the people of Bihar and has never mentioned “Biharis” in any of his speeches.

“I’m extremely saddened to watch the hate speech of @BJP4IndiaPm Modi twisting my statement to incite the people of Bihar during a rally today alleging that a @INCIndia leader from Punjab is asking to boycott Bihari’s working in Punjab,” Khaira said in a post on ‘X’.

Khaira said that he is advocating for a law in Punjab like Himachal Pradesh that bars outsiders from buying land.

“To set the record straight firstly I never mentioned the word Bihari in any of my speeches nor did I mention boycotting them. I’m advocating a law like Himachal Pradesh that bars outsiders from buying land, becoming a voter or applying for govt jobs without clearing state conditions as if allowed randomly it’ll affect the identity of Himachali’s and upset their demographic situation,” the Congress leader said.

Khaira said that people outside of Punjab should fulfil conditions similar to the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy Act 1972.

“We have no objection if any non-Punjabi wants to earn a livelihood in Punjab but in case he wants to settle down permanently he should fulfil conditions similar to HP Tenancy Act 1972. Such a law is all the more important in Punjab as most of our govt jobs are being taken by people from Haryana, Delhi etc,” he said.

Distancing the party from Sukhpal Singh Khaira’s statement, the Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Legislative Assembly Partap Singh Bajwa said “Khaira’s views are his own.”

In a series of posts on ‘X’ Bajwa said, “The Congress Party reaffirms its commitment to inclusivity and democracy in response to recent remarks by Mr. Sukhpal Singh Khaira. Mr. Khaira’s views are his own. The Congress Party stands firm in upholding every citizen’s right to participate in the democratic process.”

“Our party’s ethos is centred on unity in diversity, safeguarding our nation’s cultural and social fabric. Let’s embrace inclusivity and respect for all as we work towards a stronger, more united India. It’s time to uphold our constitutional rights and build a harmonious society together,” Bajwa added.

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