Mumbai Sikh spokespersons in fierce debate over Navjot Singh Sidhu

Dec 04, 2018, 15:00 IST | Hemal Ashar

The motormouth Navjot Singh Sidhu poured oil on the flames of a raging debate recently, when he made a second trip to Pakistan for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, defying Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh

Mumbai Sikh spokespersons in fierce debate over Navjot Singh Sidhu
United Hindu Front activists protest against Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, in the Capital. Pic/PTI

The Punjab Congress's 'Sherry' (Sidhu's nickname) tale has no fairy tale ending, as the Navjot Singh Sidhu controversy continues. The motormouth Punjab minister poured oil on the flames of a raging debate recently, when he made a second trip to Pakistan for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, defying Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

Earlier, he had attended cricketer Imran Khan's oath-taking ceremony as Pakistan Prime Minister (PM), and his hug of Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa then, had created a furore back in India. Now Sidhu, who first claimed Congress president Rahul Gandhi is his 'captain,' has sought to assuage some of the anger by stating that Amarinder Singh is a 'fatherly figure' to him.

Congress
'It is Sidhu's right'

Charan Singh Sapra, vice-president Mumbai Congress, is sticking up for Sidhu. The Congressman stated, "Everybody in the Congress has democratic rights and the right to express their opinion. If Sidhu has said something, it is his right, and I believe he has also given his reasons for
doing so."

Charan Singh Sapra

When asked whether the Sidhu sizzler has created rifts within the party, Sapra dismissed it saying, "There are no divisions." In fact, Sapra stood up for the former India cricketer, whose quips were colloquially known as 'Sidhuisms' and said, "the Kartarpur corridor is a sentimental issue for at least 15 crore persons. Sidhu's visit to Pakistan helped 'amplify' that issue. The government sent two Union Ministers too, for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor. That is authentication for the cause." Sapra did not answer a question about Sidhu hugging the Pak army chief, instead, saying, "The five-state elections are on and obviously this is the reason why the BJP is using this as an issue."

Bharatiya Janata Party
'Sidhu's mind keeps changing'

Sardar Tara Singh, BJP MLA, slammed Sidhu saying, "Sidhu wants to take credit for the opening of the Kartarpur corridor, which is not true. Progressive governments have worked for its opening, this is not because of Sidhu."

Sardar Tara Singh

Tara Singh also laughed at what he called, 'Sidhu's changing stance'. "First he called Rahul Gandhi 'kaptaan,' defying Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, now he suddenly says the CM is like a 'fatherly figure.' This shows that Sidhu's mind is not in the right place, it keeps changing."

Tara Singh also reminded this reporter about Sidhu's hug to the Pak army chief. "Why could he not say namaste or simply shake hands? Was there any need to hug the Pak army chief?" he said. He labelled Sidhu a loudmouth and said, "In Mumbai, nobody in the community is bothered about this kaptaan-kaptaan nonsense and his publicity stunt." In the end, Tara Singh said, "The people who should be worried are those in the Congress. Maybe Sidhu wants to be 'captain' of that party."

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