Days after SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann called freedom fighter Bhagat Singh a "terrorist", Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday said no one has any right to question the contribution of great martyrs for the motherland.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) chief, who is also the MP from Sangrur, has been under fire for his controversial remark. He had even defended his remark on Bhagat Singh.
Addressing the gathering during a state-level function to mark the martyrdom day of Shaheed Udham Singh here on Sunday, Chief Minister Mann, without naming anyone, said it is unfortunate that those who swear by the Constitution to enjoy fruits of power raise a question mark on the supreme sacrifice of the martyrs.
The AAP leader alleged that "when our great national heroes and martyrs were waging war against the atrocious British regime, some traitors were siding with the imperialist forces".
Those people who had felicitated the British had bruised the psyche of every freedom fighter and martyr, an official release quoted the chief minister as saying.
"It is unfortunate that descendants of such traitors are now questioning the credentials of martyrs.
"Questioning the credentials of martyrs to eulogize the atrocities of British is a sin and those indulging in such heinous acts are doing an unpardonable crime," he said.
Bhagwant Mann said great martyrs like Shaheed Bhagat Singh do not need recognition from anyone because merely his name is enough to inspire millions of people to sacrifice their lives for the country.
Any controversy on his name and contribution in the freedom struggle is "undesirable", he stated, adding these martyrs had laid down their lives for the freedom of the country and no one has any right to question his role in the Independence movement.
He trained his guns on former chief minister Amarinder Singh, a scion of the erstwhile Patiala royal family.
"The royal family of Patiala has a lineage of anti-Punjab stance," he alleged.
"What good of Punjab can be expected from these people who were hand in glove with the British at the time when Bhagat Singh, Udham Singh and others were fighting for the country," Bhagwant Mann alleged.
Paying rich tributes to Shaheed Udham Singh, the chief minister said "this true son of soil had in a heroic act exhibited exemplary courage by killing Michael O' Dwyer, the prime perpetrator of the 1999 Jallianwala Bagh massacre".
He also recalled the unparalleled sacrifice made by legendary martyrs like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Udham Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha and others during the Indian freedom movement.
Bhagwant Mann said as an artist whenever he went to London, he used to visit the Caxton Hall where Shaheed Udham Singh had taken revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
"This hall is of immense significance for all of us as it reminds us of the heroic deed of the martyr. All out efforts will be made to bring back the belongings of all the martyrs to India," the chief minister said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)