Senior leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Punjab Assembly, a high-powered delegation, led by Harpal Singh Cheema, on Tuesday, met union minister for urban development, Hardeep Singh Puri, to apprise him of the latest developments post the demolition of the 540-year-old Sri Guru Ravidas temple at Tuglaqabad in Delhi by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which is under direct control of the union government. Others who were part of the delegation included AAP senior leader Kultar Singh Sandhwan, 5-member delegation of the Tuglaqabad Temple Committee, former Akali Dal MP Charanjit Singh Atwal, former IAS officer S.R Ladhar, Kiranjit Singh Gehri (Lok Jan Shakti) and dozens others.In a statement issued from party headquarters, Cheema said that AAP did not engage itsself in a cheap political gimmickry when the matter related the sensitive religious matters. Rising to the occasion, the delegation met the union minister Hardeep Singh Puri to demand immediate restoration of the historic temple to its pristine glory and setting up the Sri Guru Ravidas Research Centre on the precincts of temple. The demolition had led to widespread protests across the country, especially in Punjab and Delhi as it had hurt religious sentiments of millions and millions of his followers thereby bailing the common man out of the emerging situation so that he/she could heave a sigh of relief from the lurking tension in view of the law and machinery going for a toss in the state.
Addressing media person, Cheema severely criticized the BJP government at the centre for its alleged role in the sacrilegious act of dismantling the ancient temple dedicated to Sri Guru Ravidas by the union government-controlled Delhi Development Authority (DDA). Accusing the BJP government at the centre, Cheema said the government allowed DDA to carry out the demolition under its nose as DDA it was controlled by of the government, saying the Akali Dal (Badal) and Congress Party and BSP leaders were targeting the Arvind Kejriwal government to hide the BJP’s dubious role of the government in the act and for mounting a vilification campaign against it.The AAP leader further added that the public was well aware of the fact that besides DDA, the police dispensation and law and order machinery was under the direct control of the union government and not under the Arvind Kejriwal government, he said.Cheema threatened that the BJP-SAD alliance was hell bent on undermining the authority of the Kejriwal government, saying they were targeting the government so save its own skin, saying both the BJP and Akalis will have to pay heavy price for defaming the AAP just to earn a few brownie points.Giving a piece of advice to Punjab Cabinet Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Cheema said that he should dissuade from making irrelevant statements against the party and targeting the Kejriwal government over temple demolition as it had no role in it.Cheema added that like the BJP and Akali Dal, Congress too had nothing to speak about over the issue, since then the Congress government at the centre led Rajiv Gandhi had been a mute witness when the DDA had acquired the land in 1986.