Moga (Punjab) [India], June 16 (ANI): After drawing flak for categorically supporting the Referendum for the creation of Khalistan, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira clarified that he had never supported the cause.
"Someone had published a concocted report in a newspaper. Following that, Capt Amarinder Singh is reacting. The fact is I've contested five elections with allegiance to the Indian constitution. I have never supported the cause of the Referendum," Khaira told ANI.
Earlier in the day, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh condemned Khaira for backing secessionism with his categorical support for Sikh Referendum 2020, propounded by Sikh radicals for the creation of Khalistan.
In a statement, the Chief Minister termed Khaira's statement favouring the Referendum as unfortunate, and added that the Leader of the
Opposition seemed to be indulging in his usual political antics and theatrics without any sense of the history of Punjab or any realisation of the possible consequences of his statement or act.
He also took to Twitter seeking a clarification from AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal on the matter.
Mr @ArvindKejriwal I strongly condemn the statement of your LOP @SukhpalKhaira supporting Referendum 2020 that aims for Punjab to secede from the Indian Union. Please clarify your stand on this & ask your partymen to act responsibly. Do see what this Referendum stands for???? pic.twitter.com/cX8MOsVR1w— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) June 16, 2018
While Khaira denied supporting the Referendum, he suggested that the government look into the reason for the rise of the demand for such a Referendum.
"Why is there a demand for the Referendum? It is because the government of India always held an anti-Sikh attitude. Demands are in response to a policy of discrimination. I request the government to work on their mistakes and ensure that the Sikh community feels secure in the country," he said.
Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded Khaira's resignation for allegedly indulging in anti-national activities. (ANI)