SAD asks Cong. to expel Punjab minister for calling dialogue with Pakistan
Chandigarh, Feb. 16 (PTI): The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Saturday asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi to expel Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu from the party for calling for dialogue with Pakistan even after the Pulwama terrorist attack in which 40 CRPF jawans died.
Though Sidhu had condemned the “cowardly” attack by a Pakistan-based terror group, he had also called for dialogue to find a “permanent solution” to end the bloodshed.
Sidhu, who had attended the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistan prime minister last year, had said, “For a handful of people, can you blame the entire nation and can you blame an individual?”
SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said if the Congress president does not sack Sidhu, it would mean his statement was “made at the direction of Rahul Gandhi”.
“I want to ask Rahul Gandhi if he will sit quietly… Every patriotic Indian is asking if Rahul will respect their wishes and rise above politics. Sidhu should be sacked promptly,” he said.
The Akali leader said the credibility of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was also on test.
“Punjabis are eager to know whether the words he (Singh) uttered in Vidhan Sabha yesterday about the stooges of Pakistan army chief are true. If so, the CM should not wait for Rahul Gandhi’s assent to remove Sidhu from his cabinet,” said Majithia.
“Navjot Sidhu apparently does not know even now that Pakistan is the fountainhead of terrorism. Even the US has condemned the Pulwama attack and said on record that it was conducted by Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad,” he said.
Groups like Jaish were also responsible for Pathankot, Deenanagar and Uri attacks, the Akali leader said.