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Khalistan inscription puts Amarinder in trouble
Onkar Singh in New Delhi |
June 22, 2005 11:16 IST
The Bhartiya Janata Party has demanded the removal of Captain Amarinder Singh as that Punjab chief minister after the latter was found standing in front of an inscription that said 'Khalistan Zindabad' during his visit to a gurdwara in Canada in May.
The picture, that was carried in most of the newspapers in Punjab, including the Indian Express, has created a furore in the Punjab political circles giving rise to speculation that former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal may revive her campaign against Captain Amarinder Singh and seek his removal.
Speaking to rediff.com, Sheshadari Chari, who has been sent to BJP by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, said that the government must take up the matter with the Government of Canada on the diplomatic level and ensure that the inscription is removed from the Dixie Gurdwara and action should also be taken against the Indian embassy officials for failing in their duty to report the matter to the Indian government.
"We, in the Bhartiya Janata Party, demand that Captain Amarinder Singh should be replaced immediately and the Congress should explain the circumstances under which the chief minister went to Canada and addressed the gathering at a gurdwara that carried the inscription.
The government must also take up the matter with the Canadian government. We feel that the Captain is playing a dangerous game of trying to revive the Sikh militancy in the state," Chari told rediff.com on Wednesday.
Captain Kanwaljit Singh, former finance minister in the Prakash Singh Badal government in Punjab, said that the picture has exposed the Congress designs.
"The Congress leaders have been blaming the Akali leadership for the militancy in the state. Now the picture has brought out the truth. We have no doubt that the present government is trying to revive Sikh militancy in the state with an eye on the next assembly elections in Punjab," Kanwaljit Singh said on phone from his residence in Chandigarh.
In Delhi, the Congress leaders sought to discuss the matter without being named. "I think we are unnecessarily dragging the issue a bit too far. VVIPs visit many places and address people and sometimes they are not aware of what is there in the background. I think we should not read too much into it," a senior congress leader said in New Delhi.
Captain Amarinder Singh, according to sources, knew about the slogan in the background but sought to play it down saying that he did not seek the attention of the gathering on religious.
"His address did not have anything to do with the inscription. It would have been better if the chief minister had not visited the Gurdwara," an aide pointed out on phone from Chandigarh.