CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to clarify who was right on the issue of stubble-burning -- its Punjab unit led by Sukhpal Singh Khaira or Arvind Kejriwal -- and said the party was continuing to "deceive the farmers of Punjab with its culture of doublespeak".
In a statement issued here, SAD spokesman Sikander Singh Maluka said as was the case on the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue, the AAP units of Punjab and Delhi were deliberately speaking in different voices.
"This time, again both the (AAP's Delhi and Punjab) units have taken contradictory stands on paddy stubble-burning as part of a sinister plan to befool their respective electorates. Accordingly, Khaira has tried to show the farmers that he is with them even as Kejriwal wants paddy stubble- burning to stop immediately," Maluka said.
Asking the AAP not to "fool the Punjabis with its doublespeak", he said the party should speak in one voice if it wanted to be taken seriously.
"Also, if Kejriwal is really concerned about the fate of the farmers of Punjab, he should extend a liberal financial grant to them immediately on behalf of the Delhi government," Maluka added.
If the Delhi chief minister did this, it would imply that he empathised with those farmers who did not have the means to dispose of the paddy stubble on their own, he said.
"If Kejriwal does not extend a financial aid to the farmers of Punjab and continues to rave and rant for cheap publicity, it will be clear that the AAP only wants to befool the voters of both Punjab and Delhi and is not concerned about either the Punjabi farmer or the people of Delhi," he said.
Asking the Kejriwal-led party to clarify its stand on the issue immediately, Maluka said empty gestures would further convince the farmers of Punjab that it was not concerned about their plight and was only playing politics with them.