In what further intensifies the controversy related to Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s visit to Kartarpur in Pakistan, Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Singh Bagga on Sunday tweeted a video in which the former can be seen batting for the neighbouring country, saying that peace initiative has always come first from Islamabad.
“Credit for peace talks goes to the prime ministers of both the countries. But initiative has always been from Pakistan’s side,” Sidhu can be heard in the interview to a Pakistani news channel.
Tweeting the video, Bagga said that Sidhu should feel ashamed of crediting Pakistan for initiating peace dialogue and asked Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh whether he will remove the former from the state cabinet or not.
The development comes at a time when Sidhu is ire from several quarters and particularly over his jibe at Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, a fallout of the controversial politician’s recent trip to Kartarpur in Pakistan.
The row over the trip escalated in the state even as Sidhu backtracked on his claim that Congress president Rahul Gandhi was involved in his decision to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Kartarpur corridor.
“Get your facts right before you distort them, Rahul Gandhi Ji never asked me to go to Pakistan. The whole world knows I went to Pakistan on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s personal invite,” Sidhu tweeted.
A day earlier in Hyderabad, Sidhu had mocked Capt Amarinder Singh, when reporters asked him about going to Pakistan despite his disapproval.
“Rahul Gandhi is my captain. It is he who sent me to Pakistan. Rahul Gandhi is the captain of the captain (Amarinder Singh) also,” Sidhu had then said.
Angry over the Sidhu’s comments, four Punjab ministers — Tript Rajinder Bajwa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Gurmeet Singh Sodhi and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot – have called for the former’s resignation.
They said that if Sidhu didn’t consider Amarinder Singh to be his captain, he should quit the chief minister’s team.
Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan had riled Amarinder Singh, who said he tried to dissuade Sidhu, following a grenade attack in Amritsar that left three people dead.
Since his return from Kartarpur, Sidhu has been criticised for lavishing praise on Imran Khan, who too showered special attention on him.
He was also targeted over a photograph which showed him posing with Gopal Singh Chawla, the Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee head who is considered pro-Khalistan.
But Sidhu claimed “tens of thousands” of people wanted to take pictures with him in Kartarpur and he didn’t know Chawla.