Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Saturday denounced as “inflammatory” his UP counterpart Yogi Adityanath’s remarks on declaration of Malerkotla as Punjab’s 23rd district. Amarinder termed Adityanath’s tweet on the matter as an attempt to incite “communal hatred” in his peaceful state.
Earlier in the day, the UP CM had tweeted in Hindi: “Any distinction on the basis of belief and religion is contrary to the basic spirit of the Constitution of India. Presently, the formation of Malerkotla (Punjab) is a reflection of the divisive policy of the Congress.”
In a statement, Amarinder contrasted the communal harmony in Punjab with the “divisiveness” being promoted by the Yogi Adiyanath government in Uttar Pradesh.
He asked the UP CM to stay out of his state’s affairs, which are in much better shape than those in UP under, what he termed as, “divisive and destructive BJP government, which has been actively promoting communal discord in the state for the past over four years”.
“What does he (Yogi Adityanath) know of Punjab’s ethos or the history of Malerkotla, whose relationship with Sikhism and its Gurus was known to every Punjabi? And what does he understand of the Indian Constitution, which is being brazenly trampled every day by his own government in UP?” asked the Amarinder, in a strong reaction to his UP counterpart’s tweet.
Mocking Yogi Adityanath’s comment, Amarinder said, “given Yogi Adityanath government and BJP’s track record of spreading communal hate, such a remark was utterly ridiculous, apart from being totally unwarranted and uncalled for”.
“The whole world knows of the communally divisive policies of the BJP, and particularly the Yogi Adityanath government in UP,” said the Chief Minister.
Pointing to the “spate of changes in names” of various UP cities , including Mughal Sarai to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Nagar, Allahabad as Prayagraj and Faizabad as Ayodhya, he dubbed it an attempt by the Yogi government to rewrite history, which the peace-loving people of India will never condone.
Citing media reports, Amarinder recalled that UP was the first state in the country to approve ‘love jihad’ laws, and Yogi Adiyanath’s “open hatred” for Taj Mahal has been the subject matter of criticism in international press.
“It was obvious that the tweet of the UP government head on Malerkotla was nothing but a provocative gesture aimed at creating conflict among the communities living in perfect harmony in Punjab,” said the Chief Minister.
He termed it a conspiracy on the part of the BJP to spread disharmony in Punjab ahead of the Assembly elections, which are just months away.
“But the UP CM seems to have forgotten that his own state is also going to the polls at the same time, and if the recent panchayat poll results are any indication, the BJP is in for a complete and shocking rout,” Amarinder quipped.
He added that Yogi Adityanath should focus his energies on saving his own state, where the Covid situation is spirally out of control, with bodies of the victims of the pandemic being found dumped in rivers, thus depriving them of even the dignity of a decent cremation/burial.
“A chief minister who cannot protect even the basic human rights of his state’s people and allows them to be treated with such shocking disrespect has no moral right to continue in office, leave alone comment on the functioning of another state government,” declared the Punjab Chief Minister.