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Partap Bajwa 'deliberately sabotaging' Cong in run-up to Punjab bypoll: Pb minister

Partap Bajwa 'deliberately sabotaging' Cong in run-up to Punjab bypoll: Pb minister

Chandigarh, Sep 28 (PTI) Punjab minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa on Saturday alleged that Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa was "deliberately sabotaging" the party's prospects in the bypolls for the four Assembly seats in the state by "mischievously" raking up the sacrilege issue.Bypolls in Phagwara, Jalalabad, Dakha and Mukerian Assembly seats will be held on October 21 and the results will be declared on October 24.The Punjab rural department and panchayats minister claimed that the Amarinder Singh-led government's performance has been reflected in all elections in the state till date and "that exactly is Partap Singh Bajwa's problem".He alleged that going by Partap Singh Bajwa's statements, it is clear that the Congress' Rajya Sabha MP is "playing in the hands" of certain people in the opposition and is questioning the progress in the probe into the Bargari sacrilege incident and related issues despite the fact that the first chargesheet had already been filed and further investigation is on.On Thursday, the Congress MP accused Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of "hoodwinking" the people and ensuring that "sacrilege cases of 2015 are not investigated in a fair and impartial manner".Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa in a statement said, "You (Partap Bajwa) have mischievously raked up the sensitive issue of the desecration of religious texts when the state government has already questioned the CBI's move to reopen the case after filing the closure report despite the fact that the probe had been withdrawn from the central agency by the state government.""Your design has the potential to harm the Congress so that Amarinder Singh can be blamed in case this plan succeeds. You are still harbouring the grudge that you were replaced as Punjab Congress chief by Amarinder Singh as you had miserably failed to perform," he alleged.A few days back, Chief Minister Singh had lambasted Partap Singh Bajwa for allegedly "joining hands" with the opposition in attacking his own party's government on the sensitive sacrilege issue.Referring to chief minister's reported comments in a recent newspaper interview, Pratap Singh Bajwa had alleged that the chief minister has "freed the Badals of their guilt" on the issue of desecration of religious scriptures.However, Amarinder Singh had clarified that he has not given a "clean chit" to SAD leaders Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir. PTI CHS VSD NSDNSD