Canadian defence minister a Khalistani sympathiser, won’t meet him: Amarinder
Dubbing Canadian defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan a “Khalistani sympathiser”, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said he will not meet the Indo-Canadian leader during his expected visit to India later this month.
“Harjit Sajjan is a Khalistani sympathiser,” Amarinder alleged on the ‘Off the Cuff’ TV show by Shekhar Gupta. The chief minister claimed that there were, in fact, five ministers in the Justin Trudeau government who were Khalistani sympathisers and he would not have any truck with them.
“They had prevailed upon the government to prevent my entry into Canada, where I wanted to go to meet my Punjabi brethren and not to campaign for elections,” he was quoted as saying in a release issued by his team after the programme.
Amarinder, whose poll campaign in Canada was stalled last year in the run-up to the Punjab assembly elections, had responded by accusing some Canadian ministers of having “Khalistani leanings” then too. The Canadian defence minister is expected to travel to India this month in his first visit since his appointment as minister
Amarinder was candid on other issues too. Asked about beef ban, he said people had the right to, and should be allowed to, eat whatever they wanted.
The CM also said that he was not in favour of a ban on Pakistani artistes, and said he would be happy to invite them to Punjab and would also love to visit Pakistan again. “It is time to mend fences and make friends with Pakistan,” he said, urging New Delhi to be wary of China on the other border.
As for his party, seeing a “deliberate malicious attempt” by vested interests to pull down Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Amarinder also urged the people to give him (Rahul) a chance. There is a clear conspiracy against Rahul who is being targeted with ridiculous names, he said.
Captain said that he had always found Rahul “extremely perceptive” and willing to listen, besides being open to suggestions and ideas.
On the controversial issue of possible tampering of electronic voting machines, Amarinder said had the EVMs been tampered with in Punjab, he would “not be sitting here today”. However, he was quick to note that it was important to find out the reason for many advanced countries refusing to adopt EVMs.