Cherie Blair gets caught in Punjab politics

November 19th, 2008 - 9:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Nov 19 (IANS) Former British prime minister Tony Blair’s wife Cherie Blair has tripped herself up with her off-the-cuff comments at a school function in a Punjab village and landed in a political controversy.Young Congress legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira Wednesday shot off a letter to Cherie Blair objecting to her comments about former Shiromani Gurudwara Committee (SGPC) and senior Akali Dal leader Jagir Kaur.

Blair Tuesday told a gathering at a government school in Dhilwan village in Punjab’s Kapurthala district that Jagir Kaur was a “role model” for others.

Now Khaira wants Blair to know that Jagir Kaur is already facing a criminal trial for conspiring to murder her own daughter Harpreet Kaur in April 2000 for marrying a lower caste boy of her own choice.

“Your comments and speech matters a lot to the public and intellectuals here as you have a great social standing and background as a successful lawyer and your husband, former UK prime minister Tony Blair, is now roving ambassador on international issues,” stated the letter.

Cherie Blair was in Dhilwan village, 210 km from Chandigarh, to inaugurate the renovated building of the government school at the invitation of London-based Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Raj Loomba.

The NRI’s Loomba Trust and the Punjab government contributed Rs.5 million each for the school.

The millionaire NRI and his siblings had studied in the same school before migrating to Britain where they made it big.

Khaira said that Cherie Blair’s comments about Jagir Kaur were misleading and unwarranted and corrective measures were required from her to undo the damage.

The Congress legislator had defeated Jagir Kaur in the Bholath assembly constituency in Kapurthala district in the February 2007 assembly elections.

Kaur, a former SGPC president, was considered a political heavyweight but she lost.

“Therefore, in the interest of setting exemplary international moral standards, I urge that you revise your public statement, lest the youth of India start following the footsteps of leaders involved in serious criminal offences and other misdeeds. I am sure you would take immediate corrective measures,” said Khaira.

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