Close to some BJP lead­ers, but won’t join any party, says Phoolka

Doors of BJP are open for all ‘good’ peo­ple, says Union min­ster Vi­jay Goel

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - Punjab - Press Trust of In­dia

The BJP has al­ways sup­ported us in our fight for anti-sikh ri­ots vic­tims. I met law min­is­ter and home min­is­ter and they sup­ported my stand. HS PHOOLKA, for­mer AAP leader

NEW DELHI: For­mer AAP leader HS Phoolka was fe­lic­i­tated on Sun­day for his le­gal bat­tle for anti-sikh riot vic­tims at an event hosted by Union min­is­ter Vi­jay Goel, who said the doors of the BJP were open for all “good” peo­ple.

Phoolka, though ac­cepted his “close­ness” with sev­eral BJP lead­ers, ruled out join­ing any po­lit­i­cal party.

“The BJP has al­ways sup­ported us in our fight for an­ti­sikh ri­ots vic­tims. I met law min­is­ter Ravi Shankar Prasad and home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh and they sup­ported my stand on it,” Phoolka told re­porters. He, how­ever, de­nied spec­u­la­tion that he might join the BJP. “I am not join­ing any po­lit­i­cal party,” he said.

Goel lauded Phoolka as a “good man” and his friend who fought to give jus­tice to the vic­tims of the 1984 anti-sikh ri­ots. “It does not mat­ter that he was as­so­ci­ated with the AAP. He is a good per­son who did a good thing. That is why we are fe­lic­i­tat­ing him. Peo­ple ask me, if he will join my party. The BJP wants all good peo­ple should join it,” he said.

Phoolka had re­signed ear­lier this month from the Aam Aadmi Party with­out giv­ing any rea­son be­hind the move. He met Goel to greet him on his birth­day on Jan­uary 4, amid spec­u­la­tion that he might join the BJP.

Com­ment­ing on Phoolka’s res­ig­na­tion from AAP, Goel had said: “He quit AAP re­cently. (It is) bet­ter late than never.” Phoolka has avoided giv­ing any rea­son for quit­ting the AAP and ex­pressed his de­sire to float a non-po­lit­i­cal out­fit in Pun­jab to fight the drug men­ace and the per­ceived politi­ci­sa­tion of the Shi­ro­mani Gur­d­wara Par­band­hak Com­mit­tee (SGPC).

He, how­ever, was averse to any al­liance be­tween the AAP and the Con­gress. Re­ports about a pre-poll tie-up be­tween the two par­ties are do­ing the rounds, with none of them deny­ing it of­fi­cially. WASH­ING­TON: Year-long cel­e­bra­tions of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth an­niver­sary has kicked off in the US to spread his mes­sage of brother­hood and shar­ing.

The In­dian em­bassy and con­sulates have chalked out a cal­en­dar of ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing mu­si­cal con­certs, sem­i­nars and in­ter­faith events through­out the year, In­dia’s new am­bas­sador Harsh V Shringla said. 2019 marks the 550th birth an­niver­sary year of Guru Nanak, the first master of the Sikhs.

Shringla was ad­dress­ing peo­ple gath­ered to cel­e­brate the oc­ca­sion with colour­ful events where artist Bhai Baldeep Singh played de­vo­tional mu­sic on Satur­day.

“Guru Nanak Dev ji was one of In­dia’s great­est philoso­phers, teach­ers and so­cial re­form­ers. Born in an epoch when the In­dian so­ci­ety was caste-rid­dled, Guru Nanak’s voice was an em­pow­er­ing call to un­shackle the hu­man mind of cen­turies of re­li­gious and po­lit­i­cal tyranny and for the cre­ation of a new egal­i­tar­ian or­der,” Shringla told the gath­er­ing.

The In­dian gov­ern­ment, he said, is plan­ning cel­e­bra­tions in

HT PHOTO

For­mer AAP leader HS Phoolka (cen­tre) be­ing fe­lic­i­tated by Union min­is­ter Radha Mo­han Singh as min­is­ter of state for par­lia­men­tary af­fairs Vi­jay Goel looks on in New Delhi on Sun­day.

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