The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Akalis rally for Badal

Patiala, Dec. 8: George Fernandes today said Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh “would have to face the consequences” of his “politics of vendetta” against Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir.

Thousands of Dal workers stormed the city to hold a rally to protest the Congress government’s “repression” even as Union defence minister Fernandes held out the warning to Amarinder.

Fernandes is here with cabinet colleague Shahnawaz Hussain to meet the Badals who are lodged in Patiala central jail in connection with a disproportionate assets case.

Union minister of state for home I.D. Swami also met Badal, who turned 79 today, and his son.

“The treatment meted out (to the Badals) is worse than what the Opposition received during the Emergency,” Fernandes said. “Any attack or atrocity against any NDA constituent is an attack on the NDA. I will be submitting a report on what is happening in Punjab to the Prime Minister tomorrow.”

Earlier, the Dal held a massive rally under the leadership of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee president Gurcharan Singh Tohra to protest the “reign of terror” unleashed by the Amarinder government against Akali workers and leaders.

A mass movement to overthrow the government was announced, with a batch of Akali supporters to sit in dharna every day outside the jail where the Badals are lodged.

Swami slammed Amarinder for his “atrocities against the Akalis”, but ruled out clamping President’s rule.

SC rap for Badal case

The Supreme Court directed the special judge at Ropar to decide on the Badals’ bail pleas soon. The father and son have been in judicial custody for a week.

A bench of Justices . Santosh Hegde and B.P. Singh posted the Badals’ special leave petition for hearing on Friday and asked the special judge to decide the bail plea of the accused “tomorrow or as expeditiously as possible”.

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