The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday condemned Punjab’s deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for insulting the Punjabis settled abroad by branding the whole community as “terrorists”.
The deputy chief minister had said that pro-Khalistan and radical elements based in other countries were supporting the AAP.
Addressing the non-resident Indians (NRIs) who arrived in Punjab from Canada to campaign for the AAP, party general secretary Sanjay Singh said Sukhbir Badal’s utterances against NRI supporters of the AAP are “unwarranted and a great insult to Punjabis settled abroad”.
“NRIs in Canada had extended moral and financial support to AAP to see a prosperous Punjab while Sukhbir Badal is accusing the AAP of getting funds from terrorists,” said Sanjay.
As the first batch of Punjabi NRIs based in Canada arrived on Thursday, they were welcomed by Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and AAP overseas convener Kumar Vishwas in Delhi.
The second batch of NRIs from the United Kingdom will land on January 24.
Punjab has strong links with its diaspora settled in Canada, Britain, the United States and other countries.
Surinder Mavi, convener of ‘Chalo Punjab’ campaign in Toronto, who led the first batch, said they had come to Punjab to ensure the defeat of Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) alliance and the Congress.
“The Congress is not an alternative but a substitute of the present corrupt regime of the Badal family. We must save Punjab from mafia rule. AAP is the only and last hope for the people of Punjab,” said Mavi.
Sanjay said the AAP will win over 100 of the 117 seats in Punjab.
Jagtar Singh Sanghera, head of the NRI cell of the party, also flayed Sukhbir for what he said was labelling of NRIs as terrorists and radicals.
“NRIs had supported the SAD in 2007 and also funded its election campaigns with the hope that the Akalis will provide good governance,” Sanghera said.