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“Pakistan’s PM Urged Me To Induct Sidhu In Cabinet”, Says Former CM Amarinder Singh Ahead Of Punjab Assembly Election | WATCH

For its election campaign, BJP-led allience has been raisning the issues of Pakistan sponsored terrorism and security in the border state of Punjab.

Updated: January 24, 2022 7:57 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Sanstuti Nath

Amarinder Singh Navjot Singh Sidhu
Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu

Chandighar: Weeks ahead on Punjab Assembly Election 2022, Punjab Lok Congress president and state’s former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has once again ignited the debate over the Pakistan connection of former colleague turned rival Navjot Singh Sidhu. Addressing media persons on Monday, Captain said when he was Chief Minister of Punjab, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan had sent him a request to induct Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Sidhu into his cabinet.

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“Pakistan Prime Minister had sent a request if you can take (Congress Punjab president Navjot Singh) Sidhu into your Cabinet I will be grateful, he is an old friend of mine. You can remove him if he’ll not work,” said Amarinder Singh. Captain had dropped his arch-rival Sidhu from his cabinet in 2019 following tensions between the two.

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Interestingly, the statement came at a time when Assembly elections in Punjab are due to be held on February 20. For its election campaign, the BJP-led alliance has been raising the issues of Pakistan sponsored terrorism and security in the border state.

Earlier today, BJP chief JP Nadda while announcing seat-sharing arrangement between NDA-partners Punjab Lok Congress and SAD (Sanyukt) said Punjab needs special attention. “Security is a very important issue. This election is for stability and safety. Our motto is to bring back Punjab on track,” said Nadda.

This is not the first time Captain has lashed out at Sidhu for his relations with Pakistan’s Prime Minister. After his bitter resignation from Congress in September 2021, following a months-long tussle between himself and Punjab Congress Chief, Amarinder Singh claimed Sidhu has been receiving help from Pakistan.

In an interview with Republicworld, the former Chief Minister said, “I have been saying this right from the first day that he is receiving help from Pakistan. Firstly, he is Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s friend, and he also went to attend his swearing-in ceremony. I, as the Chief Minister, told him not to go, but he still went.”

In 2018, Sidhu came under a lot of fire after he was captured hugging Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa during Imran Khan’s swearing-in as Pakistan Prime Minister. At the time, the then Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, too, has criticised his then cabinet minister, Sidhu, for his ‘hugplomacy’.

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Published Date: January 24, 2022 5:05 PM IST

Updated Date: January 24, 2022 7:57 PM IST