Taking a dig at Navjot Singh Sidhu over his “good relations” with Pakistan, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the Congress leader seems to be getting “more love and respect” from the neighbouring country than in India.
Speaking to news agency ANI, the minister Wednesday said, “He (Imran Khan) offered him (Navjot Singh Sidhu) to fight elections from Pakistan. He (Sidhu) seems to have more love and respect in Pakistan than what I noticed over here. He has some good relationships over there.”
#WATCH Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal at Attari-Wagah Border after returning from ground-breaking ceremony of #KartarpurCorridor in Pakistan: He (Sidhu) seems to have more of love & respect in Pakistan than what I noticed over here. He has some good relationships over there pic.twitter.com/36JgQeI4AI
— ANI (@ANI) November 28, 2018
Badal’s remarks came hours after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the scathing criticism faced by the Congress leader for attending the former’s oath-taking ceremony. While speaking on the occasion of the Kartarpur Corridor foundation stone-laying ceremony yesterday, Khan had exuded confidence that Sidhu is capable of contesting and winning the elections in Pakistan.
“I heard there was a lot of criticism of Sidhu when he went back after my oath-taking ceremony. I don’t know why was he criticised. He was just talking about peace & brotherhood. He can come and contest election here in Pakistan’s Punjab, he’ll win,” said Imran Khan.
The Pakistan PM’s comments also garnered criticism within the BJP, with party spokesperson Sambit Patra saying that Sidhu must get himself inducted in the Pakistan government’s Cabinet as he repeatedly professes love for the neighbouring country. “The kind of love he (Sidhu) exudes for Pakistan, the only advice which we can give is Sidhu please proceed to become a part of Imran Khan’s cabinet,” Patra was quoted by PTI as saying.
Last week, while addressing the audience at the Khushwant Singh Literature Festival in Kasauli, Sidhu had drawn an analogy between visiting Pakistan versus south India. The minister implied that Pakistan culture is more similar and familiar to Punjab than south India. He had said that when he travels to South India, “I can’t understand the language, it’s just one or two words. Not that I don’t like the food, but I cannot have it for a long time, the culture is totally different.”
On the contrary, the Congress minister had said, “When I go to Pakistan, the language is the same, like you know, when you abuse in English 10 times, one abuse in Punjabi overpowers all.”