File image of Navjot Singh Sidhu
File image of Navjot Singh Sidhu | PTI photo
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Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was criticised after a prominent pro-Khalistan separatist leader shared a photograph taken with the minister on social media.

Attari: Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu played down Thursday his appearance in a photograph with “pro-Khalistan leader” Gopal Singh Chawla during his visit to Pakistan for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor.

“They showered love so much there. Every day ten thousands pictures were clicked. Among them who is Chawla or Cheema that I do not know,” Sidhu said after returning from the neighbouring nation.

Sidhu was strongly criticised by the opposition parties for the photograph. The Shiromani Akali Dal Thursday asked the Punjab cabinet minister whether “India is his priority or not”.

The cabinet minister came under attack after Gopal Singh Chawla, the general secretary of Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (PSGPC), shared a photograph of him with Sidhu on his Facebook page.

Chawla, a prominently known pro-Khalistan voice, was also seen shaking hands with Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the ground-breaking ceremony of Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan on Wednesday.

Image shared by Gopal Singh Chawla on Facebook

“There was a link between Gopal Chawla and a terrorist attack that took place in Amritsar (on Nirankari Bhavan), which is his (Sidhu’s) constituency. If he shakes hands with him or do something with him, then Sidhu has to answer in order to clear whether country is his priority or something else,” SAD president Sukhbir Badal had said.

Three persons were killed while over 20 were injured in a grenade attack on Nirankari Bhavan in Amritsar on November 18.

Badal said Sidhu should have known that Pakistan has been involved in pushing drugs into Punjab. “It is Gen Bajwa who is behind killing our youth with whom he hakes hands.”

Taking a swipe at the Congress president, Badal said Rahul Gandhi has a “very good opportunity” to expand his party to Pakistan by making Sidhu the chief of the party’s unit there.

Meanwhile, former chief of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee Paramjit Singh Sarna claimed that Sidhu avoided Chawla many times. “But he (Chawla) managed to get a picture clicked with him,” said Sarna at Attari in Amritsar.

Sidhu, Longowal and Sarna had attended the ground-breaking ceremony in Pakistan. -PTI

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1 COMMENT

  1. Prof PK Sharma,Freelance Journalist, Barnala(Punjab)

    Badals’ Shiromani Akali Dal is on the decline and degeneration because it has not succeeded in liberating itself
    from the clutches of dynasty cult !

    I wonder PM NaMo has been flaying
    the Nehru-Gandhi families for dynastic
    rule and politics in India but amazingly he has never mentioned Badal Dynasty Politics of decades together in Punjab !

    It is so because it a marriage and politics of convenience with Badals hence it is all fine !

    Mr.Sukhbir Badal, SAD Chief did not say a positive word about Mr.Navjot
    Singh Sidhu’s laudable and fine initiative of setting the ball rolling so far as building of Kartarpur Corridor
    is concerned ! What NaMo led Union Government and Badals’ SAD could not
    achieve has been realised by Sidhu’s spirited gesture in a short span of just three months !

    Not tolerating Sidhu’s rising political
    graph, Sukhbir has concocted this issue of Sidhu’s snap linking the same with Gopal Chawla -a pro Khalistani Terrorist to tarnish his image ! He is stooping very low desperately to settle political scores with him !

    Sans any doubt , a very hollow and cheap level of politics !

    Prof PK Sharma ,Freelance Journalist
    Pom Anm Nest,Barnala (Punjab)

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