Canada's Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan's Punjab visit can be termed an opportunity that knocked at the doors of the fund-starved Captain Amarinder Singh government, but it was encashed by the neighbouring Haryana.
Punjab government's decision to cold shoulder Sajjan can be gauged from the fact that not even a single state government minister or MLA 'dared' to meet him, a retired Punjab Police havaldar's son, who rose to the rank of Canada's defence minister.
Sajjan's relatives in his native village Bambehali, Hoshiarpur were also dismayed as only a couple of government officers were present in the village which welcomed him with marigold garlands.
Interestingly, Punjab's loss is Haryana's gain. While Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh maintained a distance from Sajjan saying he was Khalistan sympathiser, his counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar rushed to Chandigarh airport to meet him.
Sources close to Haryana government said that Sajjan was keen to meet Manohar Lal Khattar before leaving to Mumbai, but he was in New Delhi. Sajjan was at airport when Khattar landed at Chandigarh. He immediately rushed to the airport and met him.
Sajjan has assured Khattar that his government will explore the possibilities of investment in the state.
"The Canadian government is keen to invest in Haryana in the field of Civil Aviation, Education, Defence, Human Resource Development and Smart City projects .We will organise follow-up meetings to bring the investments to the state. I also discussed the two prominent MoUs signed between Haryana and Canada in 2015," Manohar Lal Khattar said.
Captain Amarinder Singh had dubbed Sajjan as sympathiser of Khalistan groups and had refused to meet him. Captain was compelled to cancel his seven days Canada tour in April 2016 as he allegedly faced a torture case in Toronto. The case was filed by a Sikh activist group. Sajjan is believed to be a member of this organisation.
Investigations had revealed that the case was filed by a Canadian who had accused that he was tortured during Captain's tenure as Chief Minister.
Opposition SAD-BJP has accused the Captain Amarinder Singh of ignoring state's interests for personal reasons.
"There were no evidences which can prove that Harjit Singh Sajjan is Khalistan supporter. Punjab missed a big investment opportunity due to personal differences of the chief minister with the Canadian leader," BJP secretary Vineet Joshi said.