PTI Photo
PTI Photo

Raipur: Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was jealous of him as Imran Khan did not invite him to attend his swearing-in ceremony as Pakistan’s Prime Minister. “Prime Minister Modi is jealous of me for obvious reasons. PM Modi did not receive the invitation from Imran Khan to attend his swearing-in ceremony,” said Sidhu here while addressing media persons. Sidhu is in Chattisgarh to campaign for the Congress candidates. The first phase of Chhattisgarh’s Assembly polls took place on November 12 amid tight security when 18 seats went for polls. The remaining 72 seats will go to polls on November 20.

Talking to media persons, Sidhu said, “Is the PM Modi jealous that he was not called (for Imran Khan’s oath ceremony)? Is he jealous that he went to Pakistan uninvited (for Nawaz Sharif’s birthday)? I’ll not prove my patriotism to the people whose name cropped up in Godhra (riots case).” Further attacking the Centre, Sidhu stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government at the Centre has turned ‘loktantra (democracy) into ‘dandatantra’ (hooliganism). He also said the people who raise questions against the government were branded as anti-nationals so that their voices could be oppressed. “BJP is trying to oppress those people who are raising their voices against them. They tag them as anti-nationals with the help of media,” he said.

It is worth mentioning that Sidhu did not only face the flak for attending Imran Khan’s oath ceremony in August this year but also for hugging Pakistani General Qamar Javed Bajwa. On his return from Pakistan, Sidhu had also claimed that Islamabad would open up the corridor of Kartarpur Sahib on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, which would be celebrated next year. However, External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj had issued a clarification, saying that there had not been any official communication from Pakistani government for establishing the corridor that would enable Indian pilgrims to visit the holy shrine of Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan under a bilateral protocol.

Taking on Sidhu, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal had said, “This minister (Sidhu) from Punjab government betrayed the lakhs of soldiers deployed on the borders by hugging Pakistani General Bajwa. He kept his friendship above the country. Our people were outraged by his actions, when he returned, he was shown black flags, and everyone was angry that he went there and hugged someone who kills our people.” Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also commented on Sidhu’s act and had stated “I do honestly believe that Navjot Singh Sidhu has a lot of admirers and followers. He has been a very popular cricketer and also runs a lot of TV shows. He has got his own following. Somebody of that stature going (to Pakistan) and then there hugging the Chief of the Army-an Army about which in India we have very clear feelings-certainly has an impact on the soldiers, on all the people in the Ministry and the public.”

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