Caught in the row over using image of the Golden Temple on the cover-page of its ‘Youth Manifesto’ superimposed with the election symbol broom, Aam Aadmi Party accused SAD and Congress of being involved in hurting the religious sentiments of the people.
AAP leader and its spokesperson in Punjab Sukhpal Singh Khaira claimed in a release, that a video footage purportedly showed Akali and Congress leaders putting ’tilak’ on a holy book at a function.
He demanded that a case be registered under section 295-A of IPC against Congress and SAD leaders and asked if the SGPC chief and Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib would take any action against these leaders.
On using the photo of the Golden Temple, Mr. Khaira claimed that SAD and Congress had also used the photo of the Golden Temple with party symbols in the posters.
AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal will visit the Golden Temple on July 18 to apologise for the mistake committed by the party, Mr. Khaira said.
Seeking an “immediate apology” from Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh for allegedly hurting the sentiments of Sikh community, he said, “The moment AAP leaders realised that they have committed a mistake in the ‘Youth Manifesto’ they apologised immediately.”
Meanwhile, Congress in a release denied AAP’s charges and said, “Frustrated and cornered, AAP has resorted to its favourite game of trying to tarnish the image of its rival by mischievously crafting a poster of Amarinder Singh with the picture of Darbar Sahab in the background along with party symbol. This is absolutely absurd and outrageous.”
“The picture has been mischievously crafted … the dirty tricks department of AAP has used all its skills and expertise to create something that never existed,” it said.
“If the picture existed since 2014, as the Akali-turned-Congressman-turned-AAP spokesperson Sukhpal Singh Khaira claims, then why did he remain silent for about two and half years as he was very much a part of Congress in April 2014,” the release said.
“Amarinder needs no certificate from anyone, much less AAP. Questioning his credentials and his commitment towards maintaining the sanctity, dignity and divinity of the Darbar Sahab is not just ridiculous but will prove self-defeating for those trying to raise such questions,” it added.