While talking to reporters here, Bhattal said that before seeking an apology from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, the BJP and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) should first ask Advani to apologise for his admission in the book of having instigated the former prime minister to evacuate militants from the Golden Temple.
Bhattal also recalled how Bathinda SAD MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal in 2011 had said that the statement by Advani in his book was wrong, while both Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had remained silent on the matter as they were alliance partners of the BJP in Punjab.
Bhattal said that in the chapter titled 'The Trauma and Triumph of Punjab', Advani wrote on page 430: "One of the major mass agitations in the history of the BJP was … against what we termed as the government's virtual surrender before Bhindranwale and his private army, who had made the Golden Temple their operational headquarters."
"Advani observed, 'Indira Gandhi's wavering policy… aggravated the problem in Punjab. With her credibility, both at home and abroad, at stake, the Prime Minister was ultimately forced to use the military to liberate the Golden Temple from its anti-national occupants,'" Bhattal told reporters while quoting from the book.
Bhattal said Advani instigating Gandhi for launching the operation was linked to the 1984 riots and could not be seen separately. "The 1984 riots in Delhi would not have broken out had Advani not asked the then prime minister to launch the operation," Bhattal added.She said all political parties should refrain from issuing irresponsible statements on the sensitive issue.