Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said he would not meet Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who he called a “Khalistani sympathiser”, reported PTI. Sajjan will be in New Delhi later this month. Singh also said that the Justin Trudeau Cabinet has five Khalistani sympathisers.

“Harjit Sajjan is a Khalistani sympathiser, and so was his father,” the Congress leader said during an interview to a private channel. “There are, in fact, five ministers in the Justin Trudeau government who are Khalistani sympathisers, and I will not have any truck with them.”

In response, Canada said it “regrets” that the Punjab chief minister will be “unavailable to meet our defence minister”. Calling Singh’s remarks against Sajjan and other Canadian ministers “disappointing and inaccurate”, it said in a statement, “The Captain is welcome to visit Canada. We wish to advance relations.”

During the interview, Singh also spoke about the beef ban imposed by the Bharatiya Janata Party government first in Uttar Pradesh and then in other where the right-wing party is in power. He said people should be allowed to eat what they want.

The newly-elected chief minister spoke about a cross-section of subjects, including the recently concluded state polls, India-China bilateral relations, the drug menace in Punjab and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. Singh urged people to give Gandhi a chance.