The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday accused Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders of indulging in “dangerous doublespeak” on crucial issues concerning Punjab, and dared them to take a principled stand on the place of religion in politics.
The SAD also asked the AAP leaders not to tread the communal turf and to keep clear of issues that carried the potential of dividing people along religious lines, thereby disturbing the hard-earned atmosphere of peace and communal harmony in the state.
The party also asked the AAP to stop its ‘political voyeurism’ on national issues as it could compromise national interests in the crucial border state.
Party spokesperson and general secretary Harcharan Singh Bains said: “The AAP is indulging in the worst kind of political doublespeak and hypocrisy on the twin issues of a separate state for Sikhs and on the mix of religion and politics. On the one hand, they are opposing and attacking the mixture of religion and politics through the ‘Miri-Piri’ concept, but on the other, they are holding political conferences on religious occasions, such as the Shaheedi Jor Mela at Fatehgarh Sahib and Maghi Mela at Muktsar Sahib and other Gurpurabs, misusing the name of the great Sahibzadas and the Sikh Gurus,” said “They describe themselves as a secular nationalist party. But their loudest voice in Punjab, Bhagwant Mann (AAP MP from Sangrur) openly justifies Simranjit Singh Mann’s demand for a separate state as “a case of demanding one’s just rights and opposing injustice and repression. Constitutionally, that may be a matter of opinion and debate, but politically, what really is AAP’s clear stand on Khalistan? Do Bhagwant Mann’s views represent the official line of Arvind Kejriwal’s party?” questioned Bains.
The SAD General Secretary was referring to views expressed by several AAP leaders, including Bhagwant Mann in a television interviews. “The interview, like his other statements, might have been overlooked the habitual slips of his tongue but Bhagwant Mann immediately made a reference to the ideology of the great Gurus in the religio-political context, making it clear that he was deliberately trying to distort Sikh history and philosophy. This is unacceptable,” said Bains.