JAMMU: National Conference on Saturday condemned Forest Minister and senior BJP leader Lal Singh for threatening Gujjars by reminding them of the horrendous days of 1947, which witnessed worse communal frenzy, and sought his immediate resignation from the Council of Ministers for using highly provocative, abusive, derogatory and venomous language. “If he (Lal Singh) doesn’t resign, the Chief Minister must sack him, as the unbecoming and irresponsible behaviour of the minister has potential to vitiate peaceful atmosphere and threaten harmony in Jammu”, senior National Conference leaders said in a joint statement, adding that the BJP too must appreciate sensitivity of the matter and take stern action against its loose cannon, lest it will be assumed that fascist saffron brigade is working on a sinister hidden agenda.
The National Conference leaders wondered over inaction by the Gandhi Nagar Police Station on the complaint lodged by prominent Gujjars who formed part of delegation that had met the minister in connection with problems of the farmers. They said that any attempt to shield the minister or hush up the matter will have serious ramifications.
“The boorish behaviour of the minister has lately touched dangerous proportions”, the leaders said adding that the peace loving people of Jammu will no more tolerate such tantrums of the entities like Ch Lal Singh, as they firmly believe in secular ethos and inclusiveness.
The signatories to the statement include the Provincial President Devender Singh Rana, Sr. State Vice President Surjeet Singh Slathia, State Vice President Rattan Lal Gupta, MLAs Javed Rana, Dr Kamal Arora and former ministers and senior party functionaries Syed Mushtaq Ahmed Bukhari, Abdul Gani Malik, Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo, Babu Ram Paul and Khalid Najeeb Suharwardhy.Many senior leaders of the party also signed the statement.