While senior BJP leader Balbir Punj termed the move as "anti-national", party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the people of Punjab should not be distracted by such things and should move forward instead. Their reaction came a day after Shiromani Akali Dal chief and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal distanced himself and the state government from the construction of the memorial.
"Let Punjab move forward and let's not be distracted," Rudy said, adding that the Khalistan movement was supported by Pakistan to divide India's Punjab. "Khalistan was a Pakistani agenda to divide India vis-a-vis Punjab. Thanks to the valour of Punjab which fought the fundamentalists and extremists in the state. Let no one embolden Pakistan which has even lost the proxy war. "People of Punjab have rejected the Congress and chosen the path of development instead," Rudy said.
The 28th anniversary of Operation Bluestar, launched to flush out militants from Sikh holy shrine the Golden Temple in 1984, was observed at the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat, an event from which Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal kept away.
To mark the occasion, bricks for a controversial memorial for those who were killed in the operation by security forces were laid by the five Sikh head priests along with Jatehedar Akal Takht Gyani Gurbachan Singh and SGPC President Avtar Singh Makkar. Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal after initially supporting the Memorial yesterday distanced himself and the state government from construction of the memorial.