Khadoor Sahib Congress legislator Ramanjit Singh Sikki has said the opposition from political parties, including the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to his attending the radical Sarbat Khalsa in Amritsar on Tuesday (November 10) amounts to interfering in his private religious matters, which is unacceptable.
“I as a devout Sikh, I do not need anybody’s permission to attend a religious congregation of my community; and I cannot tolerate anybody’s interfering with what I do with my faith and religion,” Sikki said in a statement issued on Thursday here. “I am also a proud Congressman. Sarbat Khalsa was open to everyone irrespective of political affiliation. Just because the Akali-BJP leaders did not have the courage to attend, it does not mean those from the Congress should not have either,” he added.
Referring to a statement from BJP state president Kamal Sharma that the MLA should not have attended Sarbat Khalsa, Sikki has claimed he went there to put forward the Congress point of view. “I made the secular stand of the party categorically clear there. I also appealed for peace and communal harmony; and warned against breach of trust between different communities and castes in Punjab. Neither Sikhs should be seen as enemies of anyone, nor anybody should be seen as enemy of Sikhs,” he said.
He accused the Akali-BJP leaders of going into hiding when they were expected to apply a healing touch to the hurt religious sentiments of people.