Chandigarh: The Kartarpur corridor has just been approved and its foundation stone is to be laid later on Monday but bickering over it has already begun. At the venue, where Vice President Venkaiah Naidu is to lay the foundation stone, state minister Sukhwinder Singh Randhawa was visibly upset on finding names of Shiromani Akali Dal leaders Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Badal’s names on the stone. (Also read: Centre Approves Kartarpur Sahib Corridor)
Questioning how the Badals found a mention on the foundation stone, Randhawa asked for some black adhesive tape. And then, in protest, he proceeded to cover his own name as that of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and colleagues with black tape. He said, “I did this in protest against Parkash and Sukhbir Badal’s names on the stone. Why are their names here? They are not a part of the executive; it’s not a BJP-Akali event.”
Randhawa seemed in a combative mood. Earlier, he also questioned how Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal would be able to attend the event. He said, “Harsimrat Kaur Badal had called Navjot Sidhu a ‘qaum ka gaddar’, now she herself is going to Pakistan, with what face will she go? Akali Dal had not taken up the Kartarpur Corridor issue even once when they were in power.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan is upbeat about India’s ‘positive response’ to its invitation to the ground-breaking ceremony of Kartarpur corridor, said reports on Monday. This, when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh have decided against attending the ceremony on the other side of the border.
According to Pakistani media, however, their foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that India’s Ministry of External Affairs had “responded well to Pakistan’s initiative to bring the Sikh community closer”.