Bhattal seeks apology from senior BJP leader over reference to Gurus

New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday played down the views by senior BJP leader L. K. Advani, in his recently released book on the 1984 militant hold up in the Golden Temple, saying the media has misinterpreted his remarks.

“Have any of you read the book? Do you know what he has written in the book? You people are in the habit of creating controversies,” the veteran Akali leader said at a media meet here.

“He (Advani) did not mean what you all are saying,” he said when asked for his comment on the controversy.

Mr. Advani, in his autobiography -- My Country, My Life -- has written that the BJP was opposed to the surrender by the Government to militants, hiding in the highest Sikh shrine, during that period.

This was interpreted by some sections as Mr. Advani having supported the Operation Blue Star.

Centre attacked

Mr. Badal also attacked the Central Government for interfering in the Sikh issues.

“We are sad by their interference. This is intolerable. They are interfering through Congress-led State Governments in Delhi and Haryana.

“We demand that the Bill which the Delhi Assembly has passed on the extension of Executive Board of the DSGMC should not be made an Act,” Mr. Badal said.

The Delhi Assembly had recently passed a Bill extending the term of the Executive Board of the DSGMC from one to two years.

“We condemn the interfering act of the Central Government. They should not interfere in separate Gurudwara Committee issue in Haryana,” he added.

Meanwhile, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Rajinder Kaur Bhattal has demanded an apology from senior Mr. Advani for his alleged reference to Sikh Gurus as mere saints in his book .

“Enemy of the Sikhs”

Talking to reporters in Amritsar on Thursday, Ms. Bhattal described Mr. Advani as an “enemy of the Sikhs” and alleged that he has described Sikh Gurus (Masters) as mere saints and not Gurus in his book.

Stating that the description of Sikh Gurus had hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikhs, Ms. Bhattal demanded an apology from him.

Lashing out at the SGPC for its silence on the issue, she said it was the right time for the highest Sikh religious body to demand an apology from the BJP leader.

Mr. Advani should come to the Golden Temple to extend an apology for his objectionable remarks against the Sikh Gurus, she said and demanded that the Punjab Government should impose a ban on his book as it could disturb peace in the State.

Ms. Bhattal also advised Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) which is heading a coalition government in the State along with the BJP to snap all ties with the latter. PTI