AAP questions BJP over UK MP Dhesi's meetings with Union Ministers
Chandigarh, April 18 (IANS) A day after the BJP slammed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over a meeting between its Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and visiting British Labour Party MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, who was critical of the Centre over issues associated with the farmers' stir, the AAP on Monday questioned the saffron party over the British MP's meetings with its own leaders in the past.
An AAP's Punjab unit leader released pictures of Punjab-origin Dhesi's meetings with various BJP leaders, comprising two Union ministers -- Hardeep Singh Puri and Som Prakash, and former union minister Vijay Sampla.
Also, the photo of BJP's ally and Punjab Lok Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh meeting with Dhesi was also released.
AAP spokesperson Neel Garg shared the photos on Twitter and hit out at the BJP by questioning the party's double standards for criticising Mann over his meeting with Dhesi, while its own ministers -- Puri and Prakash -- held meetings with the Labour Party MP.
AAP's Punjab spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang asked the BJP why no questions were raised when some of their leaders, including Vijay Sampla, had met Dhesi in the past.
"Why did they not raise questions then. So, it exposes the BJP's double standards," said Kang.
Kang said during Dhesi's meeting with Mann, issues related to Punjabi diaspora and the NRIs were discussed at length.
A day earlier, BJP leader and former Army chief Gen J.J. Singh lashed out at Mann over his meeting with Dhesi and said AAP should clarify "if it endorses the pro-separatist and anti-India views of the British lawmaker".
In his post, Dhesi on Saturday wrote, "Grateful to the Honourable Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for the warmth with which he received me at his official residence today in Chandigarh."
He said MP Raghav Chadha and MLA Inderbir Singh Nijjar were also present in the meeting. Dhesi said he talked to Mann about land disputes, political prisoners and blacklisted individuals and urged him to establish direct flights from London, Birmingham and other major global cities to both Amritsar and Chandigarh.
On Monday, Dhesi along with his family visited his ancestral village Raipur Pharola in Punjab.
Sharing his experience, he wrote on Twitter: "Great to be back in the #Punjab at our ancestral pind (village). At the khoo (farm/well), where the kids had an amazing time in the motor pool, just as I once did!"
On Baisakhi, he visited Harmandir Sahib (the Golden Temple) complex in Amritsar and said he felt blessed that "they could pay respects".
"Hadn't been for 2 years, so lots of questions and interviews at press conference in Darbar Sahib Information Office, where they kindly bestowed honorary siropa," he said in a tweet.
During the farmers' agitation last year, Dhesi had sent a letter, signed by over 100 MPs and Lords, to the Prime Minister on the ongoing protests, asking him to raise this matter with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi when they next liaise.