Dubbing Canadian defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan a "Khalistani sympathiser”, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said he will not meet the Indo-Canadian leader during his expected visit to India later this month.
"Harjit Sajjan is a Khalistani sympathiser and so was his father,” Amarinder alleged on the ‘Off the Cuff’ TV show by Shekhar Gupta. The chief minister claimed that there were, in fact, five ministers in the Justin Trudeau government who were Khalistani sympathisers and he would not have any truck with them.
The Canadian defence minister is expected to travel to India this month in his first visit since his appointment as minister
"They had prevailed upon the government to prevent my entry into Canada, where I wanted to go to meet my Punjabi brethren and not to campaign for elections,” he was quoted as saying in a release issued by his team after the programme.
Amarinder, whose poll campaign in Canada was stalled last year in the run-up to the Punjab assembly elections, had responded by accusing some Canadian ministers of having "Khalistani leanings” then too.
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.
Referring to his government's crackdown on drugs, he said with the STF 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,
On the contentious SYL issue, the Chief Minister reiterated his stand that the state had no water to spare and pointed out that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken note of his concern on the issue.
On the controversial issue of possible tampering of electronic voting machines, Amarinder said had the EVMs been tampered with in Punjab, he would "not be sitting here today”. However, he was quick to note that it was important to find out the reason for many advanced countries refusing to adopt EVMs.