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Jaitley, Capt continue war of words over Op Bluestar

Operation Bluestar has become a hot topic between Arun Jaitley and Capt Amarinder Singh who are up against each other in the Amritsar parliamentary constituency.

punjab Updated: Mar 27, 2014 17:19 IST
Aseem Bassi
Aseem Bassi
Hindustan Times

Operation Bluestar has become a hot topic between Arun Jaitley and Capt Amarinder Singh who are up against each other in the Amritsar parliamentary constituency.

For the past couple of days, both have been firing salvos at each other on Operation Bluestar and the memorial issue.

Accused by Amarinder of adopting “double standards” by opposing the memorial but enjoying the hospitality of those who got it constructed, Jaitley hit out at his Congress opponent by questioning Amarinder for being in the party that got the Operation executed.

In his FB post, Jaitley wrote, “I have always believed that Operation Bluestar was an illconceived and ill-planned operation. In my earlier comments I have referred to it as a ‘blunder’. There were other ways of achieving the goal. Capt Amarinder Singh is the candidate of a party which planned and executed Operation Bluestar. The reluctant captain obeyed the party president to contest the elections from Amritsar notwithstanding the fact that his party president represents the legacy of those behind Operation Bluestar. Amarinder 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 guilt?”

Jaitley said, “I have been more aggressive against terror than most other politicians. My articles are available on my website. If Capt Amarinder Singh chooses to read them, he won’t ask me ill-informed questions on my stand on honouring terrorism or terrorists. Obviously, I am opposed to it.”

Operation Bluestar memorial was constructed in April last year in the Golden Temple complex by the SGPC which is controlled by the SAD.

A few days ago when questioned by the media, Jaitley had endorsed the stand of the state BJP unit, which had opposed the construction of the memorial.

The BJP candidate, while slamming the Congress for fielding Ashok Chavan, former chief minister of Maharashtra, who is tainted in the Adarsh scam, also had a dig at his opponent Capt Amarinder saying, “The candidate the Congress has fielded against me is a chargesheeted politician. The chargesheet against Captain Sahab is pending in Ludhiana and the prosecution is on.”

Jaitley also questioned the Congress for fielding Pawan Bansal from Chandigarh, who had resigned as railway minister after a scam.

Reacting to this, Amarinder said, “If Jaitely is so aggressively opposed to terrorism, then how come he banks on the support from the same people who have built a memorial to Operation Bluestar?”

Amarinder said, “While I need no certification from you about my stand on Operation Bluestar, let me tell you that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have repeatedly apologised for it, but have the BJP and LK Advani, who proudly claim that they pressed Indira Gandhi to send the army to the Golden Temple, ever apologised or expressed any regrets?”

He said, “If the BJP can project a ‘tainted leader’ like Narendra Modi, who presided over the massacre of hundreds of innocent people in Gujarat, as the prime minister, what moral right do you have to question the Congress for fielding people like Pawan Bansal and Ashok Chavan?”

About the case pending against him in a Ludhiana court, Amarinder clarified that it was a clear case of political vendetta unleashed against him and his party workers.

First Published: Mar 27, 2014 10:04 IST