No meeting Canadian minister, reiterates Punjab CM

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Chandigarh, April 13 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said he stuck to his stand of not meeting Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan, scheduled to visit India and Punjab next week.

Defending his “Khalistani sympathiser” remarks against the Canadian Minister, Amarinder Singh alleged that Sajjan and several other ministers and top leaders in Canada were sympathetic to those indulging in anti-India activities, notwithstanding Canada’s claims to the contrary.

“Sajjan is welcome to attend conferences and meetings, and even visit Harmandar Sahib in Amritsar. But I will personally not entertain him as I have concrete information about him being a Khalistani sympathiser, just as his father Kundan Sajjan, a board member of World Sikh Organisation, was,” the senior Congress leader said in a statement here.

“The state government will provide full security to the visiting minister and also ensure that he gets treated as per the protocol, but I will not be seen hobnobbing with a Khalistani sympathiser,” the Chief Minister added.

“Other Canadian ministers and MPs, including Navdeep Bains, Amarjit Sohi, Sukh Dhaiwal, Darshan Kang, Raj Grewal, Harinder Malhi, Roby Sahota, Jagmeet Singh, and Randeep Sari, are well known for their leanings towards the Khalistani movement,” Amarinder Singh alleged.

The Chief Minister said on Wednesday that he will not meet the visiting Sikh minister.

The Congress leader cancelled his Canada trip in April last year after Canadian authorities told him he could not allowed to visit that country for holding political rallies and meetings in the run-up to the 2017 Punjab assembly elections.

Amarinder Singh had wrote an angry letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to protest against what he said was “gag order”.

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”.

“Amarinder Singh should not let a personal incident cloud his judgement and he should have refrained from making disparaging remarks against Sajjan and other Punjabi representatives in Canadian Parliament. Punjabis worldwide are proud of their elected representatives in Canada and Sajjan is an example of personal accomplishment for the entire Punjabi diaspora. He should not be disrespected in this manner,” the former Punjab Deputy Chief Minister said.

Aam Aadmi Party spokesman and MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira said: “It reflects Amarinder Singh’s vindictiveness towards Punjabis living in Canada.”

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

–IANS

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