Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh yesterday it was up to minister Navjot Singh Sidhu to explain his stance defending Pakistan on the Pulwama terror attack.
Sidhu’s comments have embarrassed Singh’s government and the Congress Party.
Singh said Sidhu “must have realised that he had gone overboard with his Pakistan visit”.
The chief minister was referring to Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan during the Kartarpur corridor ceremony. “Sidhu was a cricketer while I was a soldier, and both have different viewpoints on things,” Singh said.
“Sidhu does not understand defence intricacies and had possibly reacted out of friendly motive,” the chief minister said, adding that the minister’s “intentions were surely not anti-national and he must have got the message”.
The chief minister slammed the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal for creating ruckus on the issue in the Punjab Assembly yesterday for political gains.
“Budget presentation is a vital proceeding, which the people of the state await eagerly every year,” Singh said, lashing out at the Akalis for targeting Sidhu to divert attention from such an important matter.
Singh said that the Akali leadership was making a mockery of democratic traditions for petty political gains.
“Such unconstitutional behaviour is not only unbecoming of a party of national stature but actually exposed their anti-people mindset. They neither care for the traditions of the House nor are concerned about the welfare of the people,” the chief minister said.
Sidhu, who takes every opportunity to harp on his friendship with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, a former cricketer like himself, said on February 15: “Wherever wars are fought and such things (Pulwama-type attack) happen, dialogue also continues simultaneously.
“There is a need to find a permanent solution (to issues between India and Pakistan). Such people (terrorists) have no religion, no country and no caste. When a snake bites, its antidote is also snake poison.”
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