The creation of the new district of Malerkotla in Punjab is a "reflection the divisive policy of the Congress", Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said today, hitting out at the Amarinder Singh government.
"Any distinction based on faith and religion is contrary to the spirit of India's Constitution. At this time, the formation of Malerkotla (Punjab) is a reflection the divisive policy of the Congress," Yogi Adityanath tweeted in Hindi, a day after Amarinder Singh made the announcement.
Mr Singh on Friday had declared Malerkotla as the 23rd district of Punjab while announcing several projects for the development of the historic city, about 131 km from Chandigarh. Malerkotla was carved out Sangrur district.
Mr Singh today slammed Mr Adityanath over his "inflammatory" tweet. The Punjab Chief Minister asked his UP counterpart to stay out of Punjab's affairs, "which are in much better shape than those in UP under the divisive and destructive BJP government, which has been actively promoting communal discord in the state for the past over four years."
"What does he (Mr Adityanath) know of Punjab's ethos or the history of Malerkotla, whose relationship with Sikhism and its Gurus was known to every Punjabi? And what does he understand of the Indian Constitution, which is being brazenly trampled every day by his own government in UP?" Mr Amarinder said in a statement.
The Chief Minister made the announcements on Malerkotla during the state-level celebration of 'Eid-ul-Fitr', held virtually due to the pandemic. On the occasion, Mr Singh underscored India's secular character, which he said was manifested in the defeat of communal forces in the recent assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
"Happy to share that on the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, my government has announced Malerkotla as the newest district in the state. The 23rd district holds huge historical significance. Have ordered to immediately locate a suitable site for the district administrative complex," Amarinder Singh had tweeted on Friday.
The Sikh community across the globe reveres Sher Mohammed Khan, the former Nawab of Malerkotla, who raised his voice against the torture and bricking alive of the two sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru, by the Mughals.
Initially, the sub-divisions of Malerkotla and Ahmedgarh, as well as the sub-tehsil of Amargarh, would be included in the newly created district, he said. The process of bringing villages under the jurisdiction of Malerkotla district would begin later, after the conclusion of the census operations.
Malerkotla was established in 1454 by Sheikh Sadruddin-i-Jahan from Afghanistan, and subsequently the State of Malerkotla was established in 1657 by Bayazid Khan. It was later merged with other nearby princely states to create the Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU). During the reorganisation of states in 1956, the territory of the former state of Malerkotla became part of the state of Punjab.
Captain Amarinder Singh, who belongs to the former Patiala royals, recalled his cordial ties with the then Nawab of Malerkotla, whom he fondly called "chachaji".