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SAD, BJP slam Sidhu for 'disobeying' CM and visiting Pakistan

SAD, BJP slam Sidhu for disobeying CM and visiting Pakistan

Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP Wednesday slammed Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for "disobeying" Amarinder Singh on visiting Pakistan despite the chief minister telling him to reconsider his decision.

Sidhu crossed over to Pakistan through Attari-Wagah border to take part in groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor on Wednesday.

The opposition parties said Sidhu had no right to be in the cabinet when he could not stand with his chief minister on a particular issue.

"It is quite strange that Sidhu is disobeying his chief minister. If he cannot respect the feelings of his CM then he should not be in the cabinet. If you disagree with your boss, then you have no right to be under the chief minister's command," SAD spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said on Wednesday.

Amarinder on Tuesday had said that he had asked Sidhu to reconsider his decision on going to Pakistan for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor. Amarinder had said he acceded to Sidhu's request as he did not believe in stopping anyone from undertaking a "personal visit".

Cheema, the former education minister, said either the chief minister should throw Sidhu out of his cabinet or Sidhu resign on his own.

Echoing similar sentiments, BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh also lashed out at the cricketer-turned-politician for "defying" the chief minister.

"Sidhu is such a minister who does not listen to his own chief minister," Chugh said.

"A minister is a part of the cabinet and it is the chief minister who takes a call on state policies. When the CM told Sidhu to reconsider his decision of going to Pakistan, then he should have agreed to it," he said.

Chugh hailed Amarinder for declining the invitation of Pakistan government to attend the ceremony.

"Knowing well that Pakistan is killing our soldiers on borders and is also trying to revive terrorism in Punjab, Sidhu's decision to appreciate Pakistan and his eagerness to join the function in Pakistan puts a question mark on his credentials as a true Indian," the BJP leader said.

However, Aam Aadmi Party MLA and Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema hailed Sidhu for initiating talks with his friend and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for opening of the Kartarpur corridor.

"Amarinder is feeling insecure over the rising stature of Sidhu and therefore, he is making such statements," Cheema said.

The Punjab chief minister had earlier declined Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's invitation to attend the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the Kartarpur corridor on the other side of the border, citing continued terrorist attacks in his state and killings of Indian soldiers by Pakistan armed forces.



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