Amarinder Singh taunts SAD over Delhi polls fallout with BJP, says Akali Dal isn’t quitting NDA to save its chair in Union Cabinet

  • However, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal had asked him not to issue 'ridiculous' statements which only exposed his 'subservience' to the Gandhi family

  • On Wednesday, Amarinder asked Badal to explain how his demand for the Akalis to quit the NDA over the Citizenship Amendment Act amounted to 'subservience' to the Gandhi family

  • The chief minister said that the recent statements of various Akali leaders, including Badal, clearly exposed their 'ignorance' on the CAA

Chandigarh: A day after the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) accused Amarinder Singh of making the Gandhi family happy to "save" his chair, the Punjab chief minister on Wednesday retorted, saying the SAD was not quitting the NDA at the Centre to save Harsimrat Kaur Badal's chair in the Union Cabinet.

Following the SAD’s decision to not contest the Delhi Assembly polls on being told by the BJP to change its stance over the Citizenship Amended Act, Amarinder had on Tuesday too dared the party to quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

However, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal had asked him not to issue "ridiculous" statements which only exposed his "subservience" to the Gandhi family and his desire to make the family happy to “save" his chair.

On Wednesday, Amarinder asked Badal to explain how his demand for the Akalis to quit the NDA over the Citizenship Amendment Act amounted to "subservience" to the Gandhi family. "Or are you trying to say that the lakhs of people out on the streets to protest against CAA are doing so simply out of subservience to the Gandhi family," Amarinder said.

 Amarinder Singh taunts SAD over Delhi polls fallout with BJP, says Akali Dal isn’t quitting NDA to save its chair in Union Cabinet

File image of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. AFP

The SAD chief had also said that by opposing the CAA, the chief minister was opposing the relief given to Sikhs under the amended law.

The chief minister, in a statement on Wednesday, said his chair was "quite secure".

"But apparently, you (Badal) are worried about your wife Harsimrat's chair in the Union cabinet and do not want her to lose that at any cost," said Amarinder, adding that this could be the reason for SAD refusing to walk out of the NDA despite claiming to take a stand against CAA.

As he questioned Badal's logic in interpreting his criticism of SAD's stand on CAA as being "anti-Sikh", Amarinder sent the Akali chief a copy of 'Mein Kampf', advising him to read Adolf Hitler's autobiography to understand the "dangerous implications of the unconstitutional" legislation passed by the central government, of which the Akalis are a part.

Given the "current attempts" by the Centre to "replicate Hitler's agenda" in India, it was important for the SAD leaders to read the former German Chancellor's autobiography before coming out with "irrational reactions" on CAA, said Amarinder.

The chief minister said that the recent statements of various Akali leaders, including Badal, clearly exposed their "ignorance" on the sensitive issue and urged him to read the book and decide "whether it's country first or political expediency".

"Supporting the bill in both houses of Parliament and in the Vidhan Sabha and opposing it on other platforms is unbecoming of a political leader," the chief minister said in a letter sent to Badal along with the book.

Amarinder recalled that during the last Vidhan Sabha session, he had promised to send SAD copies of 'Mein Kampf', which in English translates to 'My struggles.'

"These were his (Hitler's) beliefs which he sold to the German people in his rise to power which later became his government’s policy, when his Nazi party assumed office," wrote the chief minister.

Taking a jibe at Amarinder, the SAD chief said that he had chosen to learn his history lessons from 'Mein Kampf' and not dozens of books written by Sikhs recounting state sponsored attack on the Golden Temple and genocide of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984.

Badal in a statement said he would soon be sending across a bundle of books written by prominent Sikh scholars detailing how the Congress party and its first family had "planned and engineered" the attack on 'Harmandar Sahib' as well as the "mass killing" of Sikhs in Delhi and other parts of the country.

"I am sure these books will refresh your memory and remove the selective amnesia which has clouded your mind. Please do give the books space in your library and read them also. You will never again give inane suggestions to anyone," he said.

"This gift of books could also force you to have a change of mind and forsake servility towards the Gandhi family and make you more sensitive towards the suffering of your own community," added Badal.

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Updated Date: Jan 22, 2020 23:47:21 IST