Taking strong exception to his Kathua remarks on the issue, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Sunday lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for playing dirty politics over the sombre occasion of the Jallianwala Bagh centenary.
Countering Modi’s attack on him over the Jallianwala Bagh event organised by the central government, Amarinder said the Centre had deliberately chosen to hold a parallel event instead of supporting the initiatives and programmes of the state government.
He had personally approached the prime minister several times over the last two years to seek support for ensuring that the centenary of the historic massacre is observed in a befitting manner but the central government had failed to respond suitably, Amarinder pointed out.
Instead, the Modi government decided to hold its own event, quite evidently to score brownie political points in the backdrop of the Lok Sabha elections, he added. This was truly shocking considering the fact that the prime minister was chairman of the Jallianwala Bagh Trust, Amarinder further said.
Unlike the BJP, the Congress leadership does not believe in dictating terms to its state governments, said Amarinder, countering Modi’s remark that he did not attend the central government event under pressure from his party high command. “These things happen in the BJP, which you, Modi, are running in your typical dictatorial style,” Amarinder quipped.
It was not befitting the stature of the country’s minister to stoop to such a low in order to woo voters, the Chief Minister said, urging Modi to refrain from demeaning the high office to which the people of this great free nation had elected him.
Amarinder also exhorted the prime minister not to exploit the martyrdom of the victims of the violence unleashed by the British during the freedom struggle, or of the soldiers who are dying every day at the borders or in ISI-backed terror attacks such as Pulwama, for furthering his and his party’s political ambitions.
Condemning the prime minister for trying to mislead the people with this politically motivated falsehoods, Amarinder said it was Modi who had insulted the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh, first by not being present at any of the commemorative events and then by choosing to politicise the occasion.
A Cabinet Minister (OP Soni) was, however, duly appointed to be present at the central government function, which was attended by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, said Amarinder, adding that all the necessary protocols were duly followed.
Hitting out at Punjab CM Amarinder Singh for skipping Saturday’s event to pay respect to those killed in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre 100 years ago, Modi on Sunday had said, “Congress CM (of Punjab) was absconding from the function. He boycotted it, because he was busy in ‘bakhti’ of the Congress ‘parivar’ (family). He went with ‘naamdar (dynasts)’ but not with India’s vice president”, he said.
The PM was in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district to campaign for BJP’s Udhampur Lok Sabha seat candidate Jitendra Singh. ( The new Indian Express )