DNA India – Amarinder Singh says no to ‘Khalistani sympathiser’

Punjab CM refuses to meet Canada defence minister, comes under attack from Opposition and Sikh groups for calling him a ‘Khalistani sympathiser’

DNA Correspondent

Chandigarh, 14 Apr 2017. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh came under Opposition attack from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) over his open refusal to meet Canadian defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan during his expected visit to India later this month.

Condemning Captain Amarinder for calling Sajjan a “Khalistani sympathiser”, AAP spokesperson, MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira said that it reflected the vindictiveness of Captain Amarinder towards Punjabis living in Canada.

“The CM has not only insulted the Canadian Defence Minister, but the Punjabi community in general and the Sikhs in particular. They have not only proved their mettle in foreign countries with regards to business, but also in the political arena,” said Khaira, highlighting that AAP will warmly welcome the Minister if Captain Amarinder continued to stand ground on the issue.

Criticising the CM’s outburst as an outcome of NRI reluctance he had faced during his pre-poll visit to Canada, Khaira said, “Captain must understand that people of Canada not only elected Harjit Sajjan as MP, but he also represents the Government of Canada as a Sikh.”

Sajjan is expected to visit New Delhi later this month for bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi which was to be followed by a visit to Punjab. However, the Punjab CM kicked a diplomatic row when he made a statement during a TV interview that he would not meet the Minister since he is a “Khalistani sympathiser”.

“These Khalistani sympathisers had last year coerced the government to block my entry into Canada where I wanted to meet my Punjabi brethren,” Singh had stated.

Former Deputy CM and SAD President Sukhbir Badal also targeted Captain Amarinder stating that the CM should not let a personal incident cloud his judgment. “He should not be disrespectful. Such disparaging remarks will not work well for bilateral relations with Canada,” said Badal.

While AAP has demanded that the CM should withdraw his statements, he has also come under attack from extremist groups in the state.

Highlighting that the CM’s statement has put Khalistan issue back on the international discussion table, Sikh extremist group Dal Khalsa head, H S Cheema said, “If Sajjan is a Khalistani sympathiser, then why has India decided to hold talks with him?”

Calling names

Captain Amarinder Singh’s outburst is being termed as an outcome of NRI reluctance he had faced during his pre-poll visit to Canada

Sajjan is expected to visit New Delhi later this month for bilateral talks with PM Narendra Modi which was to be followed by a visit to Punjab

The Punjab CM kicked a diplomatic row when he made this statement during a TV interview

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-amarinder-singh-says-no-to-khalistani-sympathiser-2401286

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