Relationship between Punjab chief minister and the cricketer turned politician Sidhu continues to deteriorate. This time around Sidhu’s act of going across the border to Pakistan, attending Imran Khan’s oath taking ceremony and even hugging the Pakistani army chief, Bajwa seems to have irked Amarinder Singh. At a time, when the entire nation was mourning over the sad demise of its former prime minister and beloved statesman, Atal Bihar Vajpayee, Sidhu was shaming the nation by attending Khan’s oath taking ceremony. He not only attended Imran Khan’s ceremony inviting severe criticism but also embraced the Pakistani army chief and also chose to sit with the prime minister of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) clearly shaming India and acting in a way that dilutes India’s claim over that part of the valley which has been occupied by Pakistan.
Sidhu is a minister in the Punjab government. However, despite this fact Amarinder Singh has come out criticizing Sidhu for his unacceptable behavior. Singh has in unambiguous terms disapproved of Sidhu’s objectionable conduct. He has stated that, “it was wrong for him to have shown the affection towards the Pakistan Army Chief.” Therefore, it is clear that Sidhu acting as a self acclaimed “goodwill ambassador” in Pakistan and sending across a very negative message has not gone down well with the Punjab chief minister. Amarinder Singh also said, “Everyday our jawans are getting martyred. To hug their Chief General Bajwa…I am against this. The fact is that the man should understand that our soldiers are being killed everyday.” He also mentioned that his own regiment has lost a Major and two jawans a few months ago and that everyday somebody was being shot. In a strong remark, Amarinder Singh wondered whether the man who pulls the trigger is to blame or the man who orders which is the chief, i.e. Pakistani army chief Bajwa. As far as the issue of sitting with the PoK president is concerned, Amarinder Singh gave him the benefit of doubt and stated that maybe he did not know who he was. However, with these comments Amarinder Singh has made it clear that Sidhu’s behaviour was off the mark and totally unacceptable. Sidhu should also take this as a stern warning by the Punjab chief minister not to indulge in such irresponsible and condemnable behavior in the future.
This is not for the first time that the Punjab chief minister, Amarinder Singh has taken such strong pro-nation stand. Often, he has taken a strong pro-India stance against the stand taken by fellow party men or even the unambiguous Congress stand. A few days ago, he had taken a strong stand against pro-Khalistani elements terming a rally held by a Sikh organisation in London as a “no-show and a damp squib.” Last year, he had also taken a firm stand for Major Gogoi even as the entire leftist-liberal cabal was baiting for him. He had also come out stating that Major Gogoi deserved a gallantry medal for his services.
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has set the bar very high as far as conduct of politicians is concerned. He has set a very good precedent of taking a pro-nation stand. He has set a precedent for fellow politicians and especially Congressman to rise above petty party politics and speak in the nation’s interest.
Sidhu should be ashamed of his conduct and should apologize publicly. It is absolutely disgraceful how he went to Pakistan and embraced those who conspire and make nefarious designs against India. It is even more unfortunate how all this happened even as the entire nation was mourning the sad demise of its former prime minister and statesman, Atal ji.