BJP state executive member Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina on Friday claimed that the Congress-led UPA government had not made sincere efforts for getting the ban imposed on the wearing of the turban lifted in France.
In a statement issued here, he claimed that the Punjab unit of the BJP had been pressing for lifting the ban imposed in French schools, in violation of the religious freedom of Sikhs.
He said though India had a Sikh Prime Minister, the government failed to impress upon the visiting French President François Hollande to lift the ban. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh failed to take up the case properly with the French President, he added.
He pointed out that Sikhs had a strong French connection dating to the days of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The Maharaja had his army trained by French military experts and French generals formed an important part of the army, he added.
"Various Sikh organisations, including the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, and the SAD-BJP government of Punjab have taken up the case with the Centre but to no avail," said Chhina while urging France to repeal the law that bans wearing of the turban in schools by Sikh students.