Congress spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Tuesday dared Arun Jaitley, Akali-BJP candidate for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to spell out their stands on major ideological differences between the state’s ruling allies.
“Is the alliance only an immoral marriage of convenience to fulfill its lust for power?” asked Khaira, claiming that the recent utterances of Jaitley and Badal on key issues related to Punjab had exposed that that alliance was an opportunist and unethical tie-up between opposite ideologies.
Khaira mentioned the Damdami Taksal’s building Operatin Bluestar memorial in the Golden Temple and Jaitley’s describing it as anti-national. “The SAD (Shiromani Akali Dal) condemns Operation Bluestar, while the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) claims credit for pressurising Indira Gandhi to order the military raid (on the Sikh shrine in 1984),” said Khaira.
He added that Badal claimed credit for burning Article 25(2) of the Constitution, demanding an amendment to specify that Sikhs were a separate religion, while the BJP believed in uniform civil code in the country and was opposed to the SAD’s views. While the Anandpur Sahib Resolution was a sacred ideological document of the SAD, the BJP termed it a “charter of disintegration” of the country, Khaira has recalled.
The SAD is against the displacement of 50,000 Sikh farming families from the Kutch region of Gujarat, while the Gujarat government led by the BJP prime ministerial candidate refuses to withdraw the special leave petition (SLP) from the Supreme Court even after relief to the Sikhs from the Gujarat high court, the Congress spokesman has said further.
“The SAD claims to be the champion of Sikhs. The BJP has shunted out its only Sikh MP, Navjot Singh Sidhu. The SAD claims Chandigarh to be the rightful capital of Punjab, while the BJP candidate in Chandigarh, Kirron Kher, promises people to fight for separate statehood for the Union Territory,” said Khaira.