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Congress against politics over Canadian defence minister row

18 April 2017
Congress against politics over Canadian defence minister row

The chief minister was not answerable to the Akalis, but was only accountable to the people of Punjab, who had given him a "resounding mandate" in the recent Assembly polls, said Gurjit.

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

As earlier reported by TOI, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has already declared that he will not meet Sajjan during his visit to India since he was among the five Sikh ministers in the Justin Trudeau government in Canada who were "Khalistani sympathisers". Kirpal Singh Badungar said that it will be proud moment for the Punjab resident Sikhs on April 20 when Canadian Defence Minister S. Harjit Singh Sajjan will pay obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum Sri Harmandir Sahib.

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Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday asked Amarinder Singh "not to act petty and spiteful and give the minister of a sovereign country the respect he deserves".

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". One can take a lesson from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Amarinder reiterated that the Canadian defence minister and several other top leaders in Canada were sympathising with those indulging in anti-India activities, notwithstanding Canada's claims to the contrary, said a press note issued by his office. "We wish to advance relations".

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.

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Before his Punjab visit, Sajjan is scheduled to meet Union finance, defence and corporate affairs minister Arun Jaitley and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, besides other ministers and government officials.

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

Meanwhile, various Sikh organisations have also announced to welcome Sajjan during his visit.Amritsar, April 17President of the Chief Khalsa Diwan Charanjit Sing.

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He said the Chief Minister should withdraw his remarks against the Canadian Minister.