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Punjab CM asks Akalis to quit BJP alliance on CAA


Amarinder Singh


Chandigarh: Ridiculing SAD's claim that it had chosen not to contest the Delhi assembly polls due to differences with the BJP over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday challenged the Akalis to quit the alliance at the Centre to prove their sincerity with regard to the legislation.

"Why don't you (Akalis) walk the talk and show the people of India that you really stand against the divisive and destructive CAA?" asked the Chief Minister, urging the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) minister in the Union Cabinet, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, to immediately resign in support of the stated stand on the controversial legislation.

"If you found the CAA to be anti-Muslim, why did you support and pass the legislation in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha?" Amarinder Singh asked the Akalis, adding that the vociferous support extended by the SAD to the legislation in Parliament was a matter of record.

Pointing out that Delhi was the second state, after Haryana, where the SAD had decided not to go with their ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Chief Minister said their claim that they had decided against contesting the Delhi polls on account of differences on the CAA was unacceptable.

The decision to opt out of the Delhi elections was clearly motivated by political compulsions as the SAD had evidently realised it had no ground support and could not win even a single seat in the national capital, he added.

Or perhaps, the BJP was not ready to give them what they wanted in terms of seats, prompting them to look for a graceful way out of the situation, he said.

Taking a dig at the SAD leadership, including party chief Sukhbir Badal and Union minister Harsimrat Badal, over their spate of contradictory and conflicting statements on CAA, the Chief Minister said the Akalis did not have a principled stand on this major issue of national importance.

Manjinder Singh Sirsa's claim that the party had been under pressure to review its stand on the CAA was ludicrous, to say the least, considering the discordant notes the Akalis had been striking on the issue for the past several days, he added.

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