Differences between the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and its ruling alliance partner over the Bluestar memorial came to the fore yet again on Friday, as the BJP reiterated its stance "against acts that glorify the gone era of terrorism" and demanded a "peace memorial" to "innocents killed during the time of terrorism in Punjab".
State BJP president and Pathankot MLA Ashwani Sharma said the memorial should be on the lines of Amritsar's Jallianwala Bagh. The top leadership of the saffron party is expected to meet chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on the issue.
Former minister and BJP spokesman Manoranjan Kalia also stressed, "The stance of the BJP is quite clear that it stands for unity and integrity of the country, and cannot compromise on it."
Sharma said, "People of Punjab had to pay high price to bring peace back here. The 'peace memorial' would become a source of inspiration for future generations."
"In the decade-long terrorism in Punjab, people from all religions, political parties, leaders of social groups, media, intelligentsia and police personnel laid down their lives," he added.
Echoing Sharma, Kalia also underlined that "every political party has paidthe price to bring back peace to Punjab". He listed Harcharan Singh Longowal of the Akali Dal, Beant Singh of the Congress, Hit Abhilashi of the BJP, Ramesh Chander, Lala Jagat Narain, RSS volunteers as those amongst the thousands who laid down their lives.
"Let the memorial be built in the memory of those who fought for peace. It will be a lighthouse for the younger generation," said Kalia.