Unease grows among Akalis over Advani's Blue Star views

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New Delhi, Mar 9 (UNI) Senior BJP leader L K Advani's remarks in his book, which appear to have justified Operation Blue Star in 1984, have triggered unease in a sizeable section of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

The Delhi Akali Dal criticised the BJP stalwart for claiming to have forced then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for sending the Army to the Golden Temple to remove Sant Jarnail Singh Bhinderawale and his armed men from the religious place. Akali leader H S Sarna sought apology from the BJP leader.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will hold a press conference here tomorrow in the light of the uproar in his state and among the community leaders due to the former deputy prime minister's chapter on Punjab in 'My Country, My Life'.

''Mere verbal somersault may not work this time as it is an issue that hits the Sikh psyche and ours is a party that claims to represent the community,'' said a senior SAD Akali leader, who requested not to be named.

Leaders of the SAD-controlled SGPC were also upset over Mr Advani's remarks on the military raid on the Golden Temple and about his choice of words for the Sikh Gurus.

''General elections are not far away. The party's religious credibility has been in question over a long period of time. But, Mr Advani's views on the events of June, 1984, have shown his party is no different from the Congress. Unless some tough stand is taken, a huge political loss is inevitable,'' a senior SGPC leader said.

Mr Badal's deputies have publically disapproved of the top BJP leader's views on Operation Blue Star.

''But, there has been no strong comment so far from Mr Badal, who has seldom said or done anything that could strain his ties with the BJP's top brass. And what he says or does tomorrow in Delhi's press conference will determine the party's future in Punjab,'' another Akali leader said, adding no other issue could be as important as this.


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