Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's recent statement that the alliance between the Akali Dal and the BJP was essential for Hindu-Sikh peace in the state has drawn criticism from radical Sikh group Dal Khalsa.
Dal Khalsa spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh said Monday: "The relations between the two communities are not at the mercy of the relations between the Akali Dal and the BJP. The Akali Dal's alliance with the Hindutva party (BJP) should not be construed as guarantor of Sikh-Hindu amity."
The Dal Khalsa contested Badal's argument that if the Akali Dal-BJP alliance broke, it could disturb peace in Punjab.
The Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are running an alliance government in the state since 2007.
In recent days, there has been speculation that the BJP might dump the Akali Dal for the 2017 assembly polls in Punjab. Senior Akali Dal and BJP leaders have denied that there was any rift between them.
"Playing cheap politics, Badal is pitting one community against the other. It's ironic and disgusting that Badal has tried to portray as if both Sikhs and Hindus were baying for each other's blood and that he (Badal) is sole guarantor of peace between the both," the Dal Khalsa leader said.
Terming the Akali Dal-BJP tie-up as an "unholy alliance", Kanwar Pal said that this was "nothing but a marriage of convenience between the two political entities that were ideologically apart". He said the alliance was an "opportunistic" one.
"Neither does the Akali Dal solely represent the Sikh electorate, nor does the BJP represent all Punjabi Hindus," he observed.
He added that the Akali Dal, led by the Badal family, had shunned the interests of the Sikh community for its own political existence.