An Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Punjab on Sunday courted controversy after his statement on the Amritsar grenade blast. Virtually putting the blame on Army, he said, “Recently, Army chief made a statement, and to prove himself correct he has got this done. Maur Mandi blasts also happened during election time. We later got to know that it was orchestrated by Ram Rahim. Congress backed them. But everyone blamed Khalistanis. We don’t need to jump to any conclusion. Let full investigation take place.”
When asked about his reaction to the grenade blast in Amritsar, Phoolka told media that there is no need to conclude anything from this and raised doubts on this taking place during election season. On November 3, Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat had said that attempts were being made to revive insurgency in Assam and Punjab again through “external linkages” and “external abetment”.
The Bharatiya Janata Party reacted sharply to Phoolka’s statement and criticised the AAP leader for his comments. Congress also lashed out at AAP MLA. Raj Kumar Verka, Punjab Congress spokesman said Phoolka’s statement shows his mental bankruptcy, adding that the Army Chief and Soldiers are our pride.
HS Phoolka, later in his tweet, clarified that “his inadvertent statement is being blown out of proportion”. He said that he merely stated history and facts that governments in the past have also caused violence to further their interest. Phoolka said that “even a moderate person like me who has always been against Khalistan”. Apologising for the statement he said, “I regret statement that may have purported to be against the Army Chief.”
HS Phoolka had resigned from the Punjab Assembly on October 12. AAP has not accepted his resignation yet.