Congress’ central leadership cleared Kartarpur visit, says Sidhu

Hyderabad: Congress leader and Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday said he went to Pakistan for the Kartarpur Corridor groundbreaking ceremony with the consent of his party’s central leadership, even as Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh asked him to reconsider his decision.

“At least 20 Congress leaders asked me to go. The Central leadership of the party asked me to go. Punjab Cabinet Minister is like my father, I told him that I had already promised them (Pakistan) that I will go,” Sidhu said in an exclusive interview with ANI.

Later, while addressing the media here, Sidhu added that, “My captain is Congress president Rahul Gandhi, he sent me everywhere (Kartarpur Corridor). Rahul is also the captain of our captain (Punjab Chief Minister).”

The Punjab Minister also tried to clear the controversy surrounding him being photographed with pro-Khalistani leader Gopal Chawla. Sidhu said that he got his picture clicked with 20,000 people whom he does know and thus commenting on the issue would be incorrect.

The cricketer-turned-politician, who was earlier with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), criticised his previous party for what he termed as a flip-flop on Kartarpur Corridor.

“When I first went to Pakistan and talked about them (Pakistan) promising Kartarpur Corridor, the critics mocked and made fun of me, now the same people are licking their own spit and taking U-turns,” Sidhu said.

Sidhu was one of the invitees, who went to Pakistan to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor on November 28.

The leader got embroiled in controversy after his photographs with a pro-Khalistani leader went viral.

In August, Sidhu had gone to Islamabad for the oath-taking ceremony of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. That visit also racked up a controversy after Sidhu claimed that Pakistan was opening the Kartarpur Corridor- a new entry point at India-Pakistan border for Sikh pilgrims.