New Delhi [India], June 8 (ANI): Congress on Thursday strongly condemned the glorification of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassins during a parade in Brampton City in Canada and questioned the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue, saying it was not a partisan matter but an issue concerning national interest.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here today, Congress general secretary and party MP, Randeep Singh Surjewala condemned the pro-Khalistan parade in Canada and the glorification of Indira Gandhi's assassins.
Surjewala said, "Ms Gandhi, as also the then Punjab Chief Minister late Beant Singh and thousands of Congress workers had laid down their lives to defend the unity and integrity of the country.""It was not a partisan issue that the Prime Minister and his government chose to keep quiet," he added.
The Congress general secretary asked as to what prevented the Prime Minister from calling his Canadian counterpart and lodging a strong protest against such incidents, which are repeatedly taking place in that country.
He said, "These incidents had greater ramifications for the peace in Punjab and the rest of the country."He also asked why the External Affairs Ministry had not so far summoned the Canadian High Commissioner in India to lodge the country's protest.
Indira Gandhi served as the first and only woman Prime Minister of India from January 1966 to March 1977 and again from January 1980 until her assassination in October 1984. She was shot dead by two of her own bodyguards at her official residence on October 31, 1984.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday expressed his concern over reports of a parade float in Canada's Brampton city celebrating the assassination of Indira Gandhi and said there is a larger underlying issue about the space which is given to separatists and "it is not good for relationships".
Answering queries during a press conference on nine years of Modi government, Jaishankar slammed Canada over the incident and said giving space to extremists is not good for the country.
"I think there is a bigger issue involved...Frankly, we are at a loss to understand other than the requirements of vote bank politics why anybody would do this...I think there is a larger underlying issue about the space which is given to separatists, to extremists, to people who advocate violence. I think it is not good for relationships, not good for Canada," Jaishankar said in response to a query about reports of late PM Indira Gandhi's assassination celebration in the Canada city.
Earlier in the day, High Commissioner for Canada in India Cameron MacKay condemned the celebration of the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
MacKay said that he is "appalled" by reports of an event in Canada that celebrated the killing of Indira Gandhi.
"I am appalled by reports of an event in Canada that celebrated the assassination of late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. There is no place in Canada for hate or for the glorification of violence. I categorically condemn these activities," he said in a tweet. (ANI)