Ridiculing SAD’s claim that it had chosen not to contest the Delhi Assembly polls due to differences with BJP over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday challenged the Akalis to quit the alliance at the Centre to prove their sincerity with regard to the unconstitutional legislation, which they were party to passing in both Houses of Parliament.“Why don’t you (Akalis) walk the talk and show the people of India that you really stand against the divisive and destructive CAA?,” asked the Chief Minister, urging the SAD ministers in the Union Cabinet to immediately resign in support of their stated stand on the controversial legislation, that had evoked widespread nationwide protests from all sections of the society.“If you found the CAA to be anti-Muslim, why did you support and pass the legislation in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha?,” Captain Amarinder asked the Akalis, adding that the vociferous support extended by SAD to the legislation in Parliament was a matter of record.Pointing out that Delhi was the second state, after Haryana, where the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had decided not to go with their ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Chief Minister said their claim that they had decided against contesting the Delhi polls on account of differences on CAA was preposterous and unacceptable.
The decision to opt out of the Delhi elections was clearly motivated by political compulsions as the SAD had evidently realised it had no ground support and could not win even a single seat in the national capital, he added. Or perhaps, the BJP was not ready to give them what they wanted in terms of seats, prompting them to look for a graceful way out of the sitiation, he quipped.Taking a dig at the SAD leadership, including party chief Sukhbir Badal and union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, over their spate of contradictory and conflicting statements on CAA, the Chief Minister said the Akalis did not have a principled stand on this major issue of national importance. Manjinder Singh Sirsa’s claim that the party had been under pressure to review its stand on CAA was ludicrous, to say the least, considering the discordant notes the Akalis had been striking on the issue for the past several days, he added.No wonder the SAD was in a shambles, having lost all ground support in Punjab (purportedly their stronghold), and also facing severe internal discord that threatened to split the party down the centre, Captain Amarinder remarked.The Chief Minister advised the Akalis to stop trying to befool the people with their bogus claims and contrarian stand on such a sensitive and critical issue, on which the nation’s future depended. “You cannot expect people to believe that you are serious when you continue to stand with the BJP in Parliament and in the government at the Centre,” he added.