Famous Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala, often accused of promoting gun culture in his songs and even booked once under Arms Act over his photographs showing him firing an AK-47, was shot dead on Sunday by unidentified assailants in Punjab's Mansa district, a day after the state government withdrew his security cover.
The incident drew angry reactions from both BJP and Congress, which came on the same page demanding the dismissal of the newly formed AAP government in the state while Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann promised "nobody involved will be spared" and appealed everyone to "stay calm".
The Congress reaction was all the more understandable as Moosewala had contested as its candidate from the Mansa Assembly seat in the recently concluded Assembly polls.
Moosewala was defeated by AAP's Vijay Singla, who was on Saturday sent to a 14-day judicial custody after being arrested in a corruption case at the initiative of none other than the CM himself over which AAP had claimed a high moral ground.
Facing political storm over Moosewala killing AAP President and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had a telephonic conversation with the Punjab Chief Minister and promised to get strictest punishment to the guilty while Congress President Rahul Gandhi expressed shock over the murder of promising Congress leader and talented artist. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala and its Punjab chief Amrinder Singh Raja said they were shocked beyond belief and expression" over this "broad daylight murder".
The killing incident in the party-ruled state could not have come at a worse time for AAP, which was highlighting the Kejriwal model of governance in Punjab after Delhi and seeking a 'chance' for AAP in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
The manner in which the killing was carried out with several bullets pumped into Moosewala while he was travelling along with his two friends in a jeep, came handy for the all Opposition parties in Punjab to raise questions on Mann's governance. Moosewala was among the 424 people whose security was withdrawn by the Punjab Police on Saturday.
Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, who had played a key role in bringing Moosewala into the Congress fold, demanded the dismissal of the AAP government saying "Punjab govt has lost moral authority". BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa demanded case of murder under section 302 against Mann as well Kejriwal.
''Criminals have no fear of law. The AAP Punjab government has miserably failed. Nobody is safe in Punjab!," said former chief minister Amarinder Singh.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra slammed the manner in which the secret list of names of those whose security was removed having been made public and said it was in a way "open invitation to murderers, that you can do you work … Arvind Kejriwal is responsible for this murder."