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Canada controversy ridiculous: Amarinder
June 24, 2005 17:10 IST
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday described as "unnecessary and ridiculous" the controversy created by the main opposition Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party over his visit to a Canadian Gurdwara recently.
"My delegation just went there, we saw the langar hall in the basement, paid obeisance in the shrine and made a 10 minute speech giving a national message," Singh told reporters.
He said he visited the holy place following requests from people there, including Ujjal Dosanjh, the Health Minister of Canada.
"You (media) should think of positive agenda instead of harping on negative issues," he said, adding he had gone to the gurudwara as the chief minister of a secular party with a national agenda.
Regarding the Hallstand posters in the groupware, Singh said one does not read all posters and banners displayed at any place. "It (banner) behind me," he said, adding, "It is a genuine mistake. Next time I will first see the wall."
He said the present management of the Canadian shrine comprised of moderates.
"At the groupware, I had talked about the contributions of Punjabis and invited the Indians there to come and help rebuild Punjab and the country," he clarified.
Singh said two senior officials of the Indian High Commission in Canada were also with him there and the High Commission had sent a positive report of his visit.
He said even in Punjab, many gurdwaras carried objectionable posters and photographs. "Does this mean that I should not go there," he asked.