Deputy chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal castigated the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for “insulting” Guru Granth Sahib by equating it with a frivolous manifesto released by the party in Amritsar on Sunday.
In a statement issued here on Monday, Sukhbir said the AAP and its spokesman Ashish Khetan, who also headed the Delhi dialogue committee of the party, had equated a document released on Sunday with the Guru Granth Sahib in the presence of AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal. “This is an act of blasphemy which has hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs and we condemn it,” said Sukhbir.
It was understood that the AAP leaders in Punjab did not have any conscience and had become “yes men” of Kejriwal and his team of outsiders and that was why they did not raised their voice against this “sacrilegious” act, said Sukhbir. “But for me as a Sikh, it is hurting to learn how this party have attacked Sikhism,” the SAD chief said.
“Immediate dismissal of Khetan from all party posts and expulsion from AAP will send a signal that you are not party to this heinous act. But if you do not act against your arrogant and mischievous underling it will be presumed this utterance was part of a planned AAP agenda you made” said Sukhbir.
State BJP chief Vijay Sampla took strong exception to the AAP using the image of the Golden Temple on the cover of its election manifesto and putting its election symbol — broom — on the shrine’s photograph. In a statement issued Monday, Sampla demanded an apology from Kejriwal, Khetan and Sanjay Singh.
He said the AAP was destroying the glorious traditions of Punjab and Khetan had crossed all limits by comparing his party’s manifesto with holy scriptures of the Sikhs, Hindus and the Christians. Akalis are likely to protest against Kejriwal during his visit to Ludhiana on Tuesday. Sources in the party said the SAD workers are planning to show black flags to Kejriwal and raise slogans against him at Khanna for comparing AAP’s manifesto with Guru Granth Sahib.