Harvinder Singh Phoolka in Surrey in 2016.

Chandigarh (PTI): The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday said it is “unfortunate” that Defence Minister Arun Jaitley at a meeting with his Canadian counterpart Harjit Singh Sajjan has condemned the passing of a motion in the Ontario legislative assembly which describes the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as “genocide”.

The party also questioned the “silence” of the Akalis on the matter.

AAP’s Punjab leader H S Phoolka said, “It is unfortunate that Jaitley had condemned the passage of the motion. The Ontario Assembly has rightly declared the killing of the Sikhs in 1984 as genocide.”

“Why is the Akali Dal, an alliance partner in the BJP-led Central government, and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal are silent on the issue. It is shocking and surprising,” the Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly said.

Phoolka claimed that the “silence” of the Akalis and Harsimrat is “supporting” the Congress and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s move to stall the declaration of the killing of the Sikhs in the 1984 riots as “genocide”.

“Amarinder’s barb against the Canadian Defence Minister was aimed at stalling the Canadian Parliament from declaring the November 1984 killings as genocide,” he alleged.

“This motion would put pressure on the Indian government to punish the Congress leaders guilty in the anti-Sikh riots, he said.

Ahead of the Canadian Defence Minister’s visit, the Punjab Chief Minister had said he would not meet Sajjan and described him as a “Khalistani sympathiser”.

On Tuesday, in Delhi, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley had strongly raised with his Canadian counterpart Harjit Singh Sajjan India’s “anguish” over the Ontario legislative assembly passing a motion recently that described the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as “genocide”.

In his talks with Sajjan, Jaitley had condemned the passage of the motion saying it triggered outrage in India and it was a total exaggeration of facts.

Meanwhile, welcoming Sajjan’s visit to Punjab, Phoolka said, “Sajjan has made the Punjabis proud by securing high post in the government of Canada so it is the duty of every Punjabi to welcome him during his visit.”

Phoolka said that he has invited Sajjan for a formal meeting with the AAP MLAs but due to shortage of time and pre-scheduled programmes the Canadian minister was unable to meet the AAP legislators.