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PM's religion not an issue: Akali Dal

July 22, 2008 15:03 IST

The Shiromani Akali Dal on Tuesday dismissed suggestions that it would vote in favour of the trust motion in Lok Sabha because Manmohan Singh [Images] is the first Sikh prime minister of India.

"India is a secular country and therefore the vote cannot be held on the basis of religion or community or personality. It is being held on the basis of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's performance," Faridkot Member of Parliament Sukhbir Singh Badal told reporters outside the Parliament House in New Delhi.

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At the same time, Badal said, the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cannot be forgotten.

"Also the way in which it (Congress) is trying to divide the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and the turban controversy in France [Images], are issues that have to be kept in mind," Badal, whose SAD is in power in Punjab, said.

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