Amritsar / Majitha, May 11 (ANI): Just hours before the election campaign deadline for the final phase of elections in Punjab, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders made all out attempt to reach out to Sikh voters in Punjab.
One of the main topics that found mention in Congress and BJP election rallies on Monday was the atrocities of Taliban against Sikhs in Pakistan'sorth West Frontier Province (NWFP). Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, addressing an election rally for a Congress candidate Om Parkash Soni from Amritsar, said that India was fully aware of the problems faced by minorities in Pakistan.
Dr. Singh also mentioned that the situation across the border was not good but India is in touch with Pakistan government on the issue of Taliban's atrocities and on recovery of Jazia (tax) from the minorities in Pakistan.
"We are aware of the problems people of different religions are facing in Pakistan. We have initiated a dialogue with Pakistan about Taliban seeking Jazia from minorities there. India will take step in this regard," said Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Dr. Singh recalled his good old days spent in Amritsar and how much he still values a personal bond with this holy city. He remembered the day when, after the Partition, his family took shelter in Amritsar.
Dr. Singh stated that today if he is the Prime Minister of India it is because of two reasons. First, because of "your love and affection" for which he always is indebted to the people of Amritsar and second due to his hard work and education.
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi was also present during this rally.
In another election rally held at Majitha, BJP leader Lal Krishan Advani also expressed concern over the issue of 'Jazia' being charged from Sikhs, who are in minority, in Pakistan.
Advani, while campaigning for Navjot Singh Sidhu, said that the 'Jazia' reminded him of the Mughal era when such kind of disparities and atrocities were there on the minorities.
Advani said that in case he came to power he would personally see the interests of Punjab, particularly of Amritsar.
Sidhu is contesting for third time in the parliamentary elections from Amritsar constituency.
Advani assured all Punjabis here to give special consideration for the development of the area if NDA came into power.
Later, Advani also visited the Golden Temple and had 'Langar' (religious food) at the temple.
He also expressed gratitude to the SAD for being the major coalition partners with NDA since 1952. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)