Amarinder, Harsimrat trade barbs on Jallianwala, 1984 riots

Chandigarh:On a day when the nation was commemorating the 100th anniversary of the massacre of hundreds of innocent Indians by the British forces at the Jallianwala Bagh, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal was locked in a bitter Twitter exchange with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Harsimrat on Saturday provoked the war of words by ridiculing the Congress leadership for paying homage to the Jallianwala Bagh martyrs while forgetting those killed in the Operation Blue Star in 1984 and in the anti-Sikh riots later that year.

“Pb CM @capt_amarinder took @RahulGandhi to Sri Akal Takht Sahib but lacked courage to ask him admit the @INCIndia’s sin of demolishing Sikhs’ highest religio-temporal seat with tanks & mortars. What a contrast with demand for British apology for #JallianwalaBaghMassacre,” Harsimrat tweeted even as solemn functions were being held in Amritsar to commemorate the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

“@capt_amarinder is seeking apology from British Govt for #JallianwalaBaghMassacre. What about an apology from Gandhis for #OperationBlueStar?,” she said in another tweet.

Going on the offensive against Harsimrat’s tirade, Amarinder questioned her great grandfather Sardar Sunder Singh Majithia’s lavish dinner to Brigadier General Reginald Dyer, who is known as the butcher of Jallianwala Bagh, on the day of the barbaric killings on April 13, 1919.

Mounting a scathing attack on Harsimrat, as well as her husband Sukhbir Badal and his father Parkash Singh Badal, Amarinder said “the Badals had, for decades, conveniently brushed aside the shameful episode of their own ancestor hosting the butcher of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre”.

“Did you, your husband @officeofssbadal or his father, Parkash Singh Badal, ever apologise for your great grandfather, Sardar Sunder Singh Majithia’s lavish dinner to Gen Dyer on the day of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre? He was later knighted in 1926 for his loyalty and his deeds,” Amarinder tweeted.

The Chief Minister later lashed out at Harsimrat, her brother Bikram Singh Majithia and the Badal clan for playing the charade of nationalism to promote their vested political interests.

“The Union Minister’s remarks not only smacked of duplicity, but also total ignorance of my own role in the events following the Operation Blue Star,” Amarinder said.

“I resigned from both the Parliament and the Congress in protest against the military action. I was, and still am, fully aware of the implications and consequences of the events of those days,” he said, quipping that Harsimrat would have been in school at that time and was totally clueless of what transpired then.

“So don’t try to teach me on Akal Takht. No Badal can ever understand the pain the Sikh community went through. They have been always too busy to self-serve their own interests. Had it been otherwise, they would have apologised for Harsimrat’s great grandfather’s anti-nation act long back,” Amarinder said.

The Chief Minister and other Congress leaders also demanded an apology from Bikram Singh Majithia and his sister Harsimrat for the dinner hosted by their great grandfather after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.