AMRITSAR SAHIB—During an inaugural function at a media center party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate of Amritsar Arun Jaitley faced an embarrassment when media persons asked him about his stand on the June 1984 holocaust memorial. Evading a direct reply, Jaitley spoke out, “Our stand is absolutely clear in the BJP. So I don’t have to repeat it. What the stand of our state unit was, that is our stand”.
The BJP state unit had opposed the construction of the memorial built in Darbar Sahib Complex in memory of Sikhs which included Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who was martyred by Indian army in June of 1984. The BJP had even offered the opinion that the memorial was a threat to communal harmony and peace in Punjab.
When the media asked Punjab BJP chief Kamal Sharma about the party’s stand, he said, “I think you all have a strong memory. Issues are being made out of non-issues.” Even SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia, who has made huge efforts to ensure the candidature of Arun Jaitley of Amritsar, intervened to say that everything was “on record” and could be checked.
Questioned about honors being bestowed on assassins of former Punjab CM Beant Singh, Jaitley said, “We are against any kind of honor to terror. But I will not comment on the cases that are in court.”
Speculations are being made that such Sikh issues will be raised during the election campaign of both candidates, Capt Amarinder Singh of Congress, and Jaitley of the BJP