Chandigarh: Taking strong exception to Aam Aadmi Party using the image of Golden Temple on its election manifesto cover with its poll symbol broom superimposed on it, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said it amounts to desecration of the holy book and demanded an unconditional apology from the party.
Upping the ante against AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal, he called the Delhi Chief Minister and his team "mentally sick".
The Shiromani Akali Dal president told a press conference that the AAP leader and his team have "stooped to a very low level" and sought an unconditional apology from him.
"Kejriwal is not even aware of the culture of Punjab," Mr Sukhbir said, adding, "AAP has no respect for any religion. Kejriwal only sees political conspiracy whenever any action is taken against him or any of his team members."
"AAP has committed sacrilege of the holy book by superimposing its election symbol on the manifesto. I strongly condemn these mentally sick people for superimposing a broom's image on that of the Golden Temple," he said.
On being asked about investigations into incidents of sacrilege committed in the past in Punjab, Mr Sukhbir said investigations were going on.
"Police are doing their job and the guilty will not be spared," he said.
Stating that AAP was "destroying" the glorious traditions of Punjab, Mr Sukhbir demanded apologies from Mr Kejriwal and his partymen Ashish Khetan and Sanjay Singh to Punjabis.
Mr Khetan had earlier said the AAP manifesto was "the Bible, Gita and Guru Granth Sahib" for him.
Meanwhile, SAD received a shot in the arm with senior BSP leader of Punjab Baldev Singh Khaira joining the party, along with his supporters, on the occasion.
"With Khaira joining us, BSP has been weakened in the Doaba region," said Mr Sukhbir, adding that the party high-command would take a final call regarding whether to field Khaira from the Phillaur reserve seat or not in the 2017 Assembly polls.