Chandigarh, Dec 14 : Countering Sukhbir Badal's 'atrocious' remarks on Afghan Sikhs in the context of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday said it seemed the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President was more interested in dirty politicking than in protecting the Constitutional ethos.
"Do you have no shame? You are ready to destroy the country's secular character to promote your vested political interests," said Amarinder Singh in a statement, taking on Badal over his latest comments on the issue.
While people were getting killed in their fight to save India's secular character, and its Constitution, Sukhbir was busy indulging in politics over an issue of such grave concern, lashed out the CM, adding that what was at stake was the very survival of the country as a democratic and secular entity.
Responding to Badal's question "if he (Amarinder) favours granting Indian citizenship to Sikhs who migrated from Afghanistan," the Chief Minister said the issue at hand was not about granting or not granting citizenship to a particular community.
The matter related to the brazen attempt of the Central government, of which the SAD was a part, to tinker with the Indian Constitution - the very bedrock of the country's existence, he added.
"Sukhbir claims the SAD has been fighting for the last 10 years for ensuring Indian citizenship to these people (Afghan Sikhs). Without getting into any argument over his claim, I want to ask him whether he favours exclusion of Muslims from Indian citizenship," said the Chief Minister.
"Did the SAD not, in its initial reaction to CAA, declare that the Muslims should also get the benefit of the amended Act," the Chief Minister asked, demanding an explanation for the sudden U-turn of the Akalis on the issue.
With these contradictory statements, Sukhbir had once again exposed himself as an unprincipled leader with no values or morality, said Amarinder Singh, asking the SAD to clarify its stand on the issue.
India's secular fabric has always been its strength and any attempt to rip it apart will be vehemently opposed by the Congress, as well as the people of the country, said Amarinder Singh.
The BJP and its allies, however, seemed hell bent on destroying this foundation with its ill-conceived actions without thinking of the consequences, he said, citing the latest incident of a Kargil war veteran being declared a foreigner and sent to a detention camp in Assam.
"How can we question the integrity and loyalty of a soldier who has fought for the nation and risked his life to protect us," asked Amarinder Singh, warning the NDA and its allies against the dangerous consequences of such acts.
The NDA and its allies like the SAD are striking at the roots of India's diversity, and hence the foundation on which it rests, said the Chief Minister, making it clear that neither he, nor his party, would allow such an assault on India's character and Constitution.