The war of words between Capt Amarinder Singh and Harsimrat Kaur Badal continued to play out on Twitter for second day Sunday. The Union minister dragged Punjab chief minister’s grandfather’s name and the Congress leader dragging that of Union minister’s great grandfather’s to question each other’s families’ loyalty to the British and General Reginald Dyer, who had led the troops that killed hundreds of innocents in Jallianwala Bagh on April 13, 1919.
It all began with Harsimrat attacking Amarinder for skipping an event orgainised by Centre to mark 100 years of the massacre.
“You @capt_amarinder proved your care for martyrs by boycotting national function headed by the Vice President at Jallianwala Bagh yesterday. Sad you cheapened 100th anniversary by holding parallel function of PPCC. Martyr families will not forgive this insult,” she tweeted.
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal too targeted the chief minister over the issue. “Shocked at @ capt_amarinder’s refusal to join the country in paying tributes to Jallianwala Bagh martyrs. Was it not a matter of pride that the country was saluting sons & daughters of Punjab who were martyred so that we could live free lives?,” the SAD president tweeted.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Amarinder had on Saturday morning paid tributes at the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial in Amritsar during an event organised by the Punjab government. Amarinder had skipped the other event, organised by Union ministry of culture and attended by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, citing other commitments.
Harsimrat also posted a video accusing Amarinder’s grandafther of “supporting the man who ordered the massacre”. “When will u learn lesson from history @capt_amarinder? Or you covering up ur grandfather’s role in supporting the man who ordered #JallianwalaBagh-Massacre? Pl watch this video to refresh memory about how Bhupinder Singh cosied up to Gen Michael O’Dwyer and insulted the martyrs,” she tweeted.
“Need I remind you @capt_amarinder that your forefather Karam Singh sided with British against Khalsa Darbar in 1st Anglo-Sikh war? Your granddad Bhupinder Singh’s friend Michael O’Dwyer even saved Jallianwala killer Dyer from punishment. Did your family have a hand in this also?,” she added.
Amarinder hit back saying, “Amazed at how dumb someone can be! Can’t you see the difference @HarsimratBadal_ between General Dyer & Michael O’Dwyer, Punjab’s LG who had no role in #JallianwalaBaghMassacre & was assassinated by Udham Singh? Are you so desperate that you’ll spread any disinformation to win?”
He said the Union minister trying to grasp at non-existent straws to wriggle out of the situation as she had no defence for her great grandfather’s unpatriotic and anti-nationalist actions.
“You’re asking me to learn distorted history @HarsimratBadal_? A random video of a social visit by my grandfather in London, with no connect to #JallianwalaBaghMassacre, wont help you cover your great grandfather’s lavish dinner to butcher Gen Dyer on the very day of the massacre,” he tweeted.
“You willfully continue to ignore the ignominious history of your forefathers’. I’d seriously advise you to brush up your history. Read a lot as after these elections people will make you sit at home & you would have a lot of free time. Happy reading!”, he went on to say.
The CM said that “it was obvious” that the Union minister had no answer to his question on why she, her brother Bikram Majithia, husband Sukhbir Badal and his father Prakash Singh Badal had failed to apologise for the shameful act of her great grandfather.
He also lashed out at the Akali leadership for trying to politicise the Jallianwala Bagh centenary, “at the behest of their political masters – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)”. He pointed to Harsimrat’s tweet resonating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that he (Amarinder) had insulted the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre by not attending the central government function.
“Notwithstanding the fact that elections in India, over the years, have become a playground for no-holds barred battles, it is shameful that the SAD, at the bidding of the BJP leadership, is exploiting the Jallianwala Bagh martyrs to woo voters,” he said.