Canadian defence minister row: Punjab minister flays Akalis

  • Canadian defence minister row: Punjab minister flays Akalis

Canadian defence minister row: Punjab minister flays Akalis

The Congress leaders also advised the Akali and Aam Aadmi Party leaders not to try to be more loyal than the king by defending Sajjan when he himself had not denied his association with Khalistani sympathisers and supporters.

Amarinder had on April 12 alleged that Sajjan, like his father, is a "Khalistani sympathiser" and he would not meet him during his scheduled visit to India from April 17 as he (Sajjan) and four other Sikh ministers in the Justin Trudeau cabinet scuttled his visit to Canada before Punjab assembly polls.

Defending his "Khalistani sympathiser" remarks against the Canadian Minister, Amarinder Singh alleged that Sajjan and several other ministers and top leaders in Canada were sympathetic to those indulging in anti-India activities, notwithstanding Canada's claims to the contrary.

"I am not bothered about what Sajjan or others in the Canadian government think about my stand".

"It is important and in the interest of the good and friendly relationship between India and Canada that Sajjan clarifies his stand on this sensitive issue", state Congress leaders and MLAs said in a statement. "But as an elected representative of the Punjabi people, he should have welcomed Sajjan as a state guest". It was shameful that certain elements within India were choosing to ignore hard facts that many in Canada itself had taken serious note of, they noted.

In response, Canada said it "regrets" that the Punjab chief minister will be "unavailable to meet our defence minister". "We wish to advance relations".

Those criticising Chief Minister Amarinder Singh were playing into the hands of "anti-Indian forces", which were "out to destroy the secular fabric of the country", said Congress MPs Ravneet Bittu and Gurjeet Aujla in a statement here.

Sajjan's brazenly pro-Khalistani stance has also not gone down well with the Indian government.

Recalling England's "War of Roses", the Chief Minister said the India-Pakistan tension is going the same way and needs to give way to peace.

SGPC President Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar informed that the Canadian Defence Minister will be "Siropa" (robe of honour), shawl, sword, model of sanctum sanctorum Sri Harmandir Sahib and a set of religious books during his visit on April 20.

Khaira demanded that Amarinder immediately withdraw his remarks against Sajjan.