As the diplomatic row between India and Canada escalates, political parties including the ruling BJP at the Centre and opposition parties displayed a common stand in criticising Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his allegations regarding the death of a Khalistani terrorist. India has maintained that it rejects the allegations made by Canada, with opposition parties backing the Centre's statement.
In a rare show of unity, Congress supported the Centre in lashing out at Trudeau for alleging a potential link between the Indian government and the death of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. Senior Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi dubbed him as "dangerous for India as any other anti-India propagandist". Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor too questioned the "decision of the PM to go public with an allegation without a shred of evidence."
"It really looks like it's doubling down on the pandering to a certain political element, in that country. We know the government, is dependent upon certain support. And perhaps this is why they needed to do that. Elections are also coming up very soon. So for all of these reasons, Canadian politics has led to a situation where a very valued relationship between 2 countries has been thrown into jeopardy," he told reporters.
The Ministry of External Affairs has issued statements denying the allegations made by Canada as "absurd" and "motivating". In a tit-for-tat move, India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in retaliation to Ottawa's expulsion of an Indian official in the matter.
The Congress party that the fight against terrorism has to be uncompromising and called for "intensive diplomatic engagement" to resolve the "serious crisis" while ensuring security of Indians in that country.
Akali Dal leaders' stand
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal urged the Centre to work with Canada to find a solution to the conflict as "there is a sense of panic in Punjab." After Ministry of External Affairs temporarily suspended visa services for Canadian citizens, Badal met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and informed him that they were "receiving distress calls from Punjabis in Canada worried about safe and smooth travel facilities to their homeland."
"There is a sense of panic and both governments should find a solution to this crisis as soon as possible,” the Akali Dal said in a statement.