Chandigarh, December 26: Slamming the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for their double standards on the issue of NRC and CAA, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday asked the party to clarify their stand on support to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), of which they were an ally in the central government.
The SAD had supported the ruling NDA’s Citizenship Amendment Act in Parliament, but had since come out with conflicting statements on the legislation, as well as the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Captain Amarinder pointed out, lambasting the Akalis for misleading the people on these sensitive issues.
In a hard-hitting reaction in the wake of the recent statements of SAD president Sukhbir Badal and Rajya Sabha member Naresh Gujral, seeking inclusion of Muslims in CAA, the Chief Minister said it was patently obvious that the Akalis were playing double games in the matter. It was clear, he said, that the SAD leaders had decided to backtrack on their earlier stand in view of the public protests and backlash triggered by CAA/NRC.
This was not the first time the Akalis had shown such dual standards with regard to their relations with the BJP, said Captain Amarinder, pointing to the SAD’s support to Om Prakash Chautala’s INLD in the Haryana assembly elections even while continuing to be a part of the NDA. In fact, even while siding with INLD in Haryana, the SAD had allied with BJP in Punjab, where by-elections were being held at the same time in a couple of constituencies, he added.
It was time the SAD clarified their stand on their alliance with the NDA, said Captain Amarinder, adding that the people wanted to know whether the Akalis favoured BJP’s divisive and hardline ideology on key issues, including those that affect the Indian Constitutional principles and values. The people are no longer willing to be fooled by the SAD’s dual standards and misleading statements, he said.
Such contradictory stands and statements had exposed the fact that the Akalis were only interested in promoting their vested political interests, and had no ideological principles on any issue of national importance.