AAP apologises for comparing youth manifesto with Guru Granth Sahib
Caught in a political storm for hurting religious sentiments, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday apologised for comparing its youth manifesto with Sikh holy book Guru Granth Sahib. The party also apologised for the picture of its symbol, the broom, on the photo of the Golden Temple on the manifesto’s cover.punjab Updated: Jul 06, 2016 10:20 IST
Caught in a political storm for hurting religious sentiments, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) apologised on Tuesday for comparing its youth manifesto with Sikh holy book Guru Granth Sahib. The party also apologised for the picture of its symbol, the broom, on the photo of the Golden Temple on the manifesto’s cover.
AAP spokesman Ashish Khetan told reporters in Khanna, 36 km from Ludhiana, that he had no intention of hurting anyone’s sentiments at the launch of the manifesto in Amritsar on Sunday. “If the comparison of the manifesto with sacred books has caused emotional harm to anyone, I apologise,” he said with folded hands. The party will change the manifesto cover. “It was unintentional,” he said.
The apologies follow criticism from the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine. SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal termed Khetan’s equating Guru Granth Sahib with the manifesto an act of blasphemy, while state BJP chief Vijay Sampla demanded an apology for the broom on the shrine’s photo.
SAD-BJP workers staged a protest ahead of Kejriwal’s last stop in Khanna on Tuesday and submitted memorandums and complaints to deputy commissioners in Amritsar, Mohali and Bathinda. The Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) too condemned the act. The manifesto was released by Delhi chief minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal at the function in Amritsar on June 3, the first day of Kejriwal’s three-day visit to the state which ended on Tuesday. The visit, intended to bolster the party was, however, overshadowed not just by the manifesto controversy but also the alleged involvement of AAP’s Delhi MLA Naresh Yadav in the Quran desecration case. Yadav was booked by Punjab Police on the eve of Kejriwal’s visit and was grilled for six hours by the police on Tuesday.
The main accused in the case Vijay Kumar arrested by police last week had alleged that Yadav had asked him to create disturbances in Punjab ahead of the assembly polls next year.