Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has declined to meet Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who is expected to visit India next month, as he is a “Khalistani sympathiser”.
“Harjit Sajjan is a Khalistani sympathiser and so was his father... There were, in fact, five ministers in the Justin Trudeau government who were Khalistani sympathisers and I will not have any truck with them,” the Chief Minister alleged during an interview on ‘Off the Cuff’ TV show.
‘If EVMs Were Fixed, Akalis Would’ve Won’
Singh rubbished Electronic Voting Machine tampering claims and said, “If EVMs were fixed then I wouldn’t be sitting here. The Akalis would be.”
The Congress defeated the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance’s decade-long rule in Punjab after winning 77 of the 117 seats in March.
‘Rahul Gandhi Extremely Perceptive’
Asserting that there a deliberate malicious attempt by vested interests to pull down Rahul Gandhi, he urged the people to give the Congress Vice President a chance.
Singh said he had always found Rahul Gandhi extremely perceptive and willing to listen, besides being open to suggestions and ideas.
He admitted that the AAP had posed a challenge in the recently-concluded assembly polls, and claimed that their failure to project a Punjabi for the CM’s post cost them heavily.
AAP has no future unless they change their style of functioning, the CM said, and said states have to work with the Centre and it is important to maintain a working relationship.
‘Time to Make Friends With Pakistan’
Singh also commented on the beef ban, saying that people have the right to and should be allowed to eat whatever they want.
He also made it clear he was not in favour of a ban on Pakistani artistes, and said he would be happy to invite them to Punjab and would also love to visit Pakistan again.
Urging New Delhi to be wary of China on the other border, he said it is time to mend fences and make friends with Pakistan.
‘We’re Moving in the Right Direction’: Capt on Drug Issue
Referring to his government’s response to the drug problem, he said with the Special Task Force launching a crackdown, things were moving in the right direction.
Hundreds of youngsters were voluntarily coming to the rehabilitation centres and the anti-drugs helpline had so far received more than 4,000 calls, Amarinder said. He, however, ruled out formation of an Unified Command of the northern Indian states, including Jammu and Kashmir, to fight drugs and terrorism.
(With PTI inputs.)