Congress against politics over Canadian defence minister row

Amarinder Singh calls Canadian defence minister 'Khalistani sympathiser', says won't meet him

Canadian Defence Minister 'Khalistani Sympathiser', Won't Meet Him: Amarinder Singh

Reiterating his stand on the issue, the Chief Minister said that while, as a democratic nation, India believed in the freedom of speech, which was enshrined in the Constitution, he would personally not meet any Khalistani sympathizers.

As per media reports, various Sikh bodies, including the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) and Dal Khalsa have chose to honour Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan who will be visiting Punjab in coming days.

However, Amarinder rejected Canada's defence and said he stood by his principled stand of not associating himself with any "Khalistani sympathiser".

Punjab Congress today asked Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan to clarify his stand on Khalistan, a day after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he would not meet him as he is a "Khalistani sympathiser".

Asserting that there a deliberate malicious attempt by vested interests to pull down Rahul Gandhi, he urged the people to give the Congress vice president a chance. "But as an elected representative of the Punjabi people, he should have welcomed Sajjan as a state guest".

"Harjit Sajjan is a Khalistani sympathiser, and so was his father", the Congress leader said during an interview to a private channel.

He said: "Amarinder should not have let a personal incident cloud his judgement and he should have refrained from making disparaging remarks against Sajjan as well as all other Punjabi representatives in the Canadian parliament".

"It is surprising that the High Commission has preferred to remain quiet on the specific issue that is of serious concern and consequences for the peace-loving Punjabis", they said, alleging that instead of clarifying on the issue, the High Commission has tried to cover it up and put up a vague defence.

The AAP [Aam Aadmi Party] also slammed the Chief Minister, saying it reflected Amarinder Singh's "vindictiveness" towards Punjabis living in the North American country.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan answers a question during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Tuesday, April 4, 2017.

In response, Canada said it "regrets" that the Punjab chief minister will be "unavailable to meet our defence minister".

Sajjan's brazenly pro-Khalistani stance has also not gone down well with the Indian government.

Khaira demanded that Amarinder immediately withdraw his remarks against Sajjan.

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