Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday asked Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh to clarify if he was opposed to giving relief to persecuted Sikhs under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and whether he was fighting to get the entire Act rejected to end the relief given to Sikhs under CAA.
In a statement here, the SAD president said by opposing CAA the CM was opposing the relief given to Sikhs under the Act. “This does nothing except fulfill the anti-Sikh agenda of the Congress party. If Amarinder is really serious about giving relief to persecuted Sikhs in Pakistan and Afghanistan with recent figures of the Pak human rights themselves stating that 1000 Hindu and Sikh girls were abducted and forcibly married off to Muslim men he should join the SAD in seeking inclusion of Muslims in the CAA,” he said.
Asking the CM not to dance to the tunes of the Gandhi family alone and also be sensitive about the need to give refuge to persecuted Sikhs as well as other minorities in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Badal said the SAD voted in favour of the Citizen Amendment Bill to save Sikhs.
“We, however, recorded our dissent with me demanding that Muslims also be included in the new Act. We have stuck to our stand and have preferred to forsake contesting the Delhi assembly elections rather than give up our principled stand on this issue,” he added.
Badal said the CM should tell Punjabis how Muslims would gain if the Sikhs were denied benefit under the CAA.
The SAD president said the SAD on its part would continue its struggle to get Muslims included in the ambit of CAA and would continue to use the good offices of Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal also for this purpose.
He said the party had simultaneously made it clear that it was against National Register of Citizens (NRC ).
Badal said it was understandable that Amarinder could not comprehend what it meant to stand by principles. He said it was a fact that the Sikh community of Delhi had put forward a demand to contest from eight seats in the forthcoming assembly elections. “The party considered the demand but decided that it must champion the cause of all minorities and not only members of its own community,” he added.