Punjab Congress spokesman Sukhpal Khaira on Wednesday took a dig at chief minister Parkash Singh Badal lobbying for the Bharat Ratna for former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying the BJP stalwart had hailed Operation Bluestar as the plank the Akalis had been using to condemn the Congress.
"Badal's demand to bestow Bharat Ratna on Vajpayee is unjustified, uncalled for and without logic from Sikh point of view," Khaira said.
He said the BJP and its leadership had not only welcomed the army action at the Golden Temple but also took credit for building pressure on the then prime minister Indira Gandhi to order the operation. Thus, Badal's demand in that context ran contrary to the Sikh aspirations, he added.
Khaira pointed out to the excerpts from senior BJP leader LK Advani's book 'My Country My Life', saying the BJP's agitation in May 1984 demanded action against Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
Khaira pointed out to Advani's assertions in the book that the saffron party had always opposed the SAD's demand for the Anandpur Sahib Resolution in the late 1970s for federal autonomy to Punjab. Vajpayee had termed the resolution as a "charter for disintegration of India" as Advani stated in the book, Khaira said.
Khaira, however, said Vajpayee was a respected stalwart of Indian politics and it might be logical for leaders of various political parties to demand Bharat Ratna for him, but it was not right for Badal being the SAD patron.