Parkash Singh Badal seeks Modi’s intervention on deporting Sikh NRI

Chandigarh (IANS): Reacting strongly to the Indira Gandhi International airport authorities in Delhi sending Darshan Singh Dhaliwal back to the US after denying him entry to India, five-time Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “intervene personally and effectively” to get the order vacated.

Badal also requested Modi to personally invite Dhaliwal as a “goodwill gesture which will send a great positive signal to NRIs [Non-Resident Indians]”.

Dhaliwal was sent back from the IGI airport on the night of October 23-24 with the authorities saying that this was being done as a punishment for organizing a ‘langar’ or community kitchen for agitating farmers on Delhi borders.

Calling it as an affront to the “sacred practice of ‘langar’ started by the great Guru Sahiban”, Badal also urged Modi to take stern action against the erring officials who “brought a bad name to the country with their action”.

Badal said organising or sponsoring a sacred socio-religious work such as ‘langar’ has always been regarded as one of the highest and noblest duties for every devout follower of Sikhism.

“Doing so for the country’s ‘annadata’ (bread winners) is a noble task that needs to be emulated rather than penalized.”

Calling the ongoing agitation of farmers “a national movement”, Badal said there was nothing wrong or illegal in helping those taking part in this civilized, peaceful, democratic movement.

The former Punjab chief minister also spelt out an agenda for agriculture, which, includes revocation of three black laws, taking stakeholders on board before any legislation affecting them, setting up a panel with farmers and farm experts to advise the government on agriculture policies and enlarging of the list of crops for ensured marketing with MSP.