CHANDIGARAH India: The Unified Akali Dal leader Amarinder Singh, M.L.A. has opposed the current militant movement forcing the closure of liquor vends and cigarette shops in Punjab. Addressing a news conference Mr. Amarinder Singh said the Sikh religion being nonaggressive and democratic has always been fighting repression. The people cannot be forced to change their habits. He said that the movement was the result of atmosphere of bitterness in the state and ‘a change can only be brought about through negotiations. Before this movement gained ground the Center must realize that the Punjab was a national problem. Government should negotiate with Unified Akali Dal or the Akal Takht Chief Jathedar Darshan Singh who himself has expressed his willingness for such a dialogue.
Mr. Amarinder Singh, it may be recalled had pleaded some time ago for a dialogue between the Center and the militants but now he wants it to be restricted to the Center and the Unified Akali Dal only.