Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal says Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Harvinder Singh Poolka’s apologising at the Akal Takht for the manifesto gaffe will be “mere drama”.
“Phoolka can’t seek forgiveness for the fault of others... he wasn’t at the release of the manifesto, which was prepared in the presence of AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal,” the CM told the media on the sidelines of his sangat darshan (public contact) programme at Ghanauli village near Rupnagar on Friday. “See how much they (AAP leader) respect Guru Granth Sahib, the Bhagavadgita, and the Quran Sharif,” he said. “Their attitude to Sikh religion is sacrilegious.”
When the AAP released its youth manifesto for the Punjab elections on July 3, it had printed its election symbol, broom, over the cover shot of the Golden Temple and compared the document to this holiest Sikh shrine.
Answering about senior Congress leader Sunil Jakhar’s giving him an ultimatum to get Prime Minister Narendra Modi to favour Punjab in the SYL (Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal) water-sharing dispute with Haryana, the CM asked him not to shed “crocodile tears”. “A leader of Jakhar’s stature ought to know the matter is in the Supreme Court and the PM can’t intervene,” Badal said.
“Indira Gandhi (late former prime minister from the Congress) started the SYL issue when she ordered the-then Punjab CM to dig the canal and laid its foundation stone. Asked when the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) would name its state election candidates, he said “at the right time”, and asked why the dope test at police recruitment rallies, he said “to show that Punjab wasn’t on drugs”.