Akali Dal stalwart Parkash Singh Badal Sunday dared Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to prosecute him and his partymen if his government has found evidence against them in connection with incidents of desecration of holy books.
Addressing a rally organised by SAD-BJP in Ferozepur, the five-time chief minister of Punjab said Singh's "blasphemous tirade" against the SAD on the matter was an attempt to divert people's attention from the "false promises" he has made to them.
"He (Singh) knows he committed a grave sacrilege by telling a lie on oath holding Gutka Sahib in his hand," he said.
His remarks came three days after the Punjab government issued notifications to withdraw CBI probe into sacrilege cases at Bargari and police firing at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan. As per the notifications, these cases will now be probed by Special Investigation Team of Punjab police.
The incidents are at the centre of an intense political fight between the SAD and the Congress in the state.
Mr Badal said Operation Bluestar, launched during the Congress government at the Centre in 1984 to remove terrorists hiding inside the Golden Temple, was the biggest incident of sacrilege in history.
The Congress party and its government were "enemies" of the Sikh community, he alleged.
Mr Badal said, "Shri Guru Granth Sahib is dearer to us than our lives. We can sacrifice millions of Badals and another countless millions of Sukhbir Badals just to safeguard the honour, the dignity and the glory of sacred Shri Guru Granth Sahib."
"But If you have the moral and political courage, come and take us to court on the basis of whatever evidence you can cook against us," Mr Badal said.
He said his party stood for a fair inquiry into all cases of sacrilege by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court and this was why the SAD rejected the Ranjit Singh Commission.
He said retired judge Ranjit Singh is a relative of AAP leader Sukhpal Khaira.
The commission was appointed by the Congress government in April 2017 to probe incidents of sacrilege. It submitted its final report last month to Chief Minister Singh.
Speaking at the rally, SAD president Sukhbir Badal said Singh was a "bujhdil" (coward) because he never agreed to protest against oppressive governments.
"Badal saheb has spent more time in jail than your tenure in politics," he said referring to his father.