Manifesto row: AAP VS SAD

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday said it has tendered an unconditional apology to the Sikh Sangat for inadvertently and unintentionally hurting its religious sentiments either by the choice of words or by the cover design of the youth manifesto and Badal & company were no one to reject it summarily. AAP Spokesman and senior leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira and party’s Legal cell head, Himmat Singh Shergill, while addressing a joint press conference said Sikh Sangat is known for its kindheartedness and forgiveness.
”That is why our senior party leaders Ashish Khetan and Kanwar Sandhu have tendered an unconditional apology to the Sikh Sangat and not to the arrogant Badals who rejected the gesture only to politicise the issue “, added Khaira and Shergill.

Khaira said in fact Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders who claim to be more Panthic than anyone else have degenerated the Sikh institutions and also committed far more blasphemous acts during their nine and a half year rule in Punjab and never tendered an apology.

Khaira recalled that during Lok Sabha polls in 2014, Akali cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia in his bid to eulogise BJP leader Arun Jaitley wrongly recited a ‘Shabad’ (couplet) from the holy Gurbani. Though Majithia’s act not only hurt the feelings of the Sikh masses but also created a huge controversy. But the Punjab Police did not book Majithia under section 295A of the IPC.

“If Majithia subsequently apologised for his blasphemous act so did Ashish Khetan. But why Parkash Singh Badal led government is adopting different yardsticks for Majithia and Khetan”, said Khaira.

Similarly Badal recently compared PM Narendra Modi with Baba Banda Singh Bahadur in a function in New Delhi. Though Badal’s act deeply hurt the feelings of a large section of the Sikh masses who hold Baba Banda Singh Bahadur in great reverence but Punjab chief minister never felt the need to offer an apology, said Khaira.

He said during Delhi Sikh Gurdwara management committee (DSGMC) elections held in 2013, Shiromani Akai Dal used the picture of Gurdwara Bangla Sahib on its manifesto along with the election symbol the bucket on it. But till date no one from the SAD has apologised for it.

Khaira said Badal led government has also exhibited double standards when Punjab Police booked, Delhi AAP, MLA, Naresh Yadav, on the mere complaint of an accused Vijay Kumar of the Vishav Hindu Parishad (VHP) for desecrating holy Quran in Malerkotla.

However when drug lord Jagdish Bhola named Majithia as the kingpin of the multi crore drug racket being run in Punjab in front of the whole media in Mohali, Badal said how could the government act on the mere allegation of an accused.

Khaira said Badals who claim to be the Panthic leaders have been appointing senior police officers such as DGP Sumedh Singh Saini and Former DGP Izhar Alam at top positions who were well known for being anti Sikhs and were involved in the fake encounters of several Sikh youths during the days of militancy in Punjab.

Khaira said till date SAD, president Sukhbir Singh Badal has not apologised for killing two innocent Sikhs in the Behbal kalan police firing and for wrongly arresting two baptised Sikhs from Bargari village in case of sacrilege.

Shergill said the AAP would want Punjab officials especially the police officers not to indulge in anything illegal on the direction of Badals to help them fulfil their vested political interests as the party was keeping a close watch on their conduct.
video: ABP Sanjha

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