Ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Sunday dubbed the attack on a delegation led by Punjab's NRI affairs minister Tota Singh in New York as an act of 'frustration' by some 'vested interests'.
However, the opposition Congress latched on to the incident to hit out at the state government saying it was a 'manifestation of the anger that NRI Punjabis, particularly the Sikhs have against the chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his government' for their 'hollow promises' and 'failure' on all fronts.
Tota Singh and other Akali leaders were scheduled to address a meeting at Richmond Hill in the Queens borough at New York on Saturday when hundreds of Sikhs protesting his visit allegedly threw stones and hurled a shoe at them, following which the police took two youths into custody.
Prem Singh Chandumajra, SAD MP and party secretary general said the incident is 'unfortunate' as Akali leadership was making efforts to ensure that NRIs come and invest in the state.
"There are rumours among NRIs that Punjab is in bad shape and it is the duty of Akali Dal to clear the misconception," he said.
Reacting to the incident, main opposition Congress said there was growing anger among NRIs of Punjabi origin against the Akali-BJP Government.
Punjab Congress president Pratap Singh Bajwa said, "This is manifestation of the anger that NRI Punjabis, particularly the Sikhs have against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his government."
"The NRIs have shown mirror to the SAD-BJP Government that they cannot take the non-resident community for granted by making hollow promises to them every time," Bajwa asserted.