Cornering Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal for the party’s manifesto gaffe, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) said that if Kejriwal is left with some veracity, he should resign from all his positions instead of finding a scapegoat for the blunder.
After holding a meeting with party workers, Veer Singh Lopoke, chairman, planning board, targeted AAP and said that till the culprits are punished, the resentment of people will not get satisfied.
In a press conference, Lopoke said the sentiments of Sikhs were hurt as AAP used a picture of the Golden Temple and a broom (AAP’s symbol) on the cover page of the manifesto for which the Sikhs will not forgive him. The Akali leader also demanded action against AAP from the election commission on this issue.
Asking Kejriwal to take responsibility for the gaffe, Lopoke said it was important that Kejriwal, as party head, raises his hand and takes the blame rather than looking for other leaders.
However, the Akali leader had no answer when asked about usage of SAD’s symbol (scale) along with Golden Temple from time to time.
Answering a query about Kejriwal’s visit to the Golden Temple to perform ‘sewa’ on July 18, Lopoke said, “It is up to the Akal Takht to whether or not forgive Kejriwal. But his visit proves that he admits of making a mistake.”
The SAD leader further said that they are thinking of filing a formal complaint against the AAP convener but the final decision will be made after a discussion among the party leaders.
AAP leader Ashish Khetan is already facing an FIR after All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) chief Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad’s complaint alleging Khetan of hurting Sikh sentiments by equating the AAP manifesto with Guru Granth Sahib.
On allegations that SAD was politicising the whole issue for political gains, the Akali leaders denied the same and kept criticising Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party.
The SAD leaders also criticised AAP on the SYL issue and removal of ‘piao’ from Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib in Delhi.
Cabinet minister Gulzar Singh Ranike, MLA Manjit Singh Manna and other local leaders were also present.