On the day when the foundation stone for the historic Kartarpur corridor was set to be laid, politics has taken over the matter with Congress leader in the state blackening out names of Akali leaders including Parkash Singh Badal, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal, as well as present CM of state and Congress leader Capt Amarinder Singh from the plaque.
Ahead of the visit of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in Gurdaspur, where he will kick off the construction work of the historic corridor, Congress' Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa decided to put a black tape on the names of the above mentioned, stating he was unhappy that they were named. Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, he said,
"It is a very sad thing what I saw here. Such activities shouldn't take place. Credit game shouldn't be played. It is a day for happiness. Capt Amarinder Singh and Congress isn't playing the credit game. The corridor which we have received, that in itself is a big thing."
He then went onto defend his decision to blacken the name of the Badals, stating this was part of his protest against the central government.
"This is not just a protest. Those people who have no authority, their names shouldn't be present. I am very disappointed that the Akali Dal is using the Vice-President's office. They are using the President, Vice-President, who are supposed to be above their offices. Today I saw the violation of the Indian constitution," the Punjab MLA added.
SS Randhawa also mentioned that if the names of Badals were in the plaque, then there should have been names of the other previous CMs as well
"If you are keeping the names of ex-CMs, then the name of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal should also have been there. No one likes the communal talks done by BJP and Akali Dal. We would like to thank Indian government and Pakistan, especially the Pakistan government for accepting our demands," he also said.
On November 22, the Union cabinet approved the building and development of the Kartarpur corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to the international border, in order to facilitate pilgrims from India to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur on the banks of the Ravi river, in Pakistan.