Recently Ontario Liberal MP Ramesh Sangha who represents Ontario’s Brampton Centre riding created a stir when he attacked his own party. In comments in a recent Punjabi-language 5AAB TV interview caused a bit of a stir among a section of Liberal supporters. In the interview he accused the Liberal Party of “pandering” to Khalistanis who want their own independent state in India.
In the interview he said: “There is no doubt, there cannot be two opinions that the Liberal party is pandering (to) Khalistan supporters. One thing is for sure, when we raise this issue, it will raise an anti-India slogan or demand the division of India on some ground. In that, ultimately our relations, the Canada-India relationship will certainly develop cracks.”
The interviewer went on to ask if he thought the party had a “soft corner” for Khalistanis. “It does,” he responded.
One media report said Sangha’s comments seemed to place the blame on the Sikh Canadian cabinet ministers and other MPs, noting that Trudeau himself has made clear he supports the status quo in India.
“(The prime minister) said in strong words that we don’t want a divided India, we want a united India and we will work for that,” said the MP. “Sikh ministers, MPs of our Sikh brotherhood, these brothers of mine, they have their own … These are their own views and as long as they demand it, it is viewed that they are separatists. When this view surfaces, India also voices its hard view.”
MP Ramesh Sangha is said to be friends with Capt. Amarinder Singh, the Punjab state governor and this broadside against his own party will be seen as a ploy to set himself apart from the other South Asian MPs in the Liberal party.
Meanwhile Jordan Boswell, NDP candidate for Brampton Centre waded into the issue slamming both the Liberals and the Conservatives for dividing communities.
He said in a statement: “It was very disappointing to see comments from a Liberal MP and candidate claiming that his own colleagues are ‘pandering’ to Sikh separatist sentiments. It’s not acceptable to say that Sikh Canadians are anything but proud Canadians. Irresponsible comments like these divide instead of unite – and paint communities with a broad brush – marginalizing communities and putting them at risk.
“Sadly, this is not the first time that the Liberals have made accusations like this. Their 2018 terrorism report presented both Sikh and Muslim communities as extremists. And the Conservatives under Andrew Scheer and Stephen Harper also have a history of relying on divisions in society to get ahead. New Democrats celebrate diversity and will always condemn comments that seek to divide Canadians. The Sikh community here in Brampton is owed an explanation and an apology for these comments.” -CINEWS