Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and BJP's Amritsar Lok Sabha candidate Arun Jaitley, on Wednesday, accused his rival Congress candidate and former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh of being associated with those who engineered Operation Bluestar.
Notwithstanding my opposition to terrorism and insurgency, I have always believed that Operation Bluestar was an ill-conceived and an ill-planned operation. Those who planned Operation Bluestar did not realise the adverse consequences of the Operation. I have in my earlier comments referred to it as a "Blunder". There were other ways of achieving the goal. Capt Amarinder Singh is a candidate of a party which planned and executed the Bluestar operation, Jaitley wrote in his blog.
Arun Jaitley said he was known for his opposition to terrorism. Terrorism and insurgency need to be fought and eliminated. I have been more aggressive against terror than most Indian politicians. My articles and speeches are all available on my website. If Capt Amarinder Singh chooses to read them he won't have asked me ill-informed questions on my stand on honouring terrorism or terrorists, Jaitley said.
He maintained that the "reluctant" Captain obeyed the dictates of his party president to contest the elections from Amritsar notwithstanding the fact that his party president represents the legacy of those culpable for Operation Bluestar. The Captain should have refused. Why is the Captain associated with a party responsible for Bluestar? What compelled him to return to that party and accept the dictates of those who have inherited the legacy of the guilt? he asked.
Captain had earlier hit hard at Jaitley asking him to explain his stand on the Operation Bluestar. He had rather asked Jaitley what was his stand on the memorial Bluestar built recently by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) backed by Shiromani Akali Dal (B), which is the alliance partner of the BJP. The memorial is being considered as an act that glorifies those who were killed in the operation and when asked Jaitley had said that his stand on the issue was the same as that of state BJP unit.
The state BJP, which is sharing power with the Akalis had opposed the memorial which was a clear embarrassment for the government ruled by the two parties in Punjab. Jaitley had remained mum on the emotive issue, seeing that his open opposition to the memorial might alienate the Sikh voters who command clear majority in the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat. Meanwhile, the Congress, after realising this factor had fielded Captain Amarinder who is a known popular face of the Sikhs.