The Bhartiya Janta Party and Akali Dal have trained guns on the newly-appointed Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu for his silence over Malvinder Singh Mali, one of his four advisors. Mali had made a controversial remark on August 17th on Kashmir being a separate country and India and Pakistan being illegal occupants of Kashmir.
Irked by Navjot Singh Sidhu’s decision to appoint Malvinder Singh Mali as his advisor and his silence over the matter, senior BJP leader Vineet Joshi called Navjot Singh Sidhu an “unstable politician”.
“BJP gave him a political identity. His wife was given a party ticket and then he switched his loyalties and joined Congress. The infighting within the Punjab Congress unit is the outcome of the unfulfilled political ambitions of Navjot Sidhu. He can go to any length and now he is trying to sprinkle salt on the wounds of martyrs’ families,” Vineet Joshi stated.
He claimed that the appointment of Mali as an advisor, signalled where Sidhu was headed in political discourse.
“Many Army and allied forces personnel, besides the Jammu and Kashmir police, have sacrificed their lives to save Kashmir from Pakistan-sponsored terrorists. A number of martyrs belong to Punjab. Mali is trying to shrink the supreme sacrifices made by these martyrs,” Vineet Joshi said.
SAD slams Navjot Singh Sidhu, questions Congress scion Rahul Gandhi
Similarly, senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Majithia also slammed Malvinder Singh Mali’s for his inflammatory social media post which he said was an attempt to insult martyrs who had sacrificed their lives fighting for India in Kashmir.
“He [Mali] said that Kashmir is the country of Kashmiris, which means Kashmir is a separate country. He also said that India and Pakistan have illegally encroached upon Kashmir. Rahul Gandhi, is this not an insult to martyrs?” Bikram Majithia said.
Taking a dig at the Gandhi scion, Majithia added: “If he [Rahul Gandhi] endorses Mali’s views, then the real face of the Congress will be exposed. If not, what action will he take against Mali?”
Further, raking up the old controversy around Sidhu’s Pakistan visit, Bikram Majithia scorned him for his affinity towards Pakistan: “While Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has been accusing Pakistan of disturbing the peace in Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu is hugging Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.”
BJYM planned to gherao Sidhu’s residence
The Amritsar Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leaders also protested against Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Navjot Singh Sidhu claiming that his advisor’s remark amounted to sedition.
Led by state BJYM in-charge Rajesh Honey and state president Bhanu Partap, the activists planned to gherao Sidhu’s residence in Holy City, a private township. Police, however, stopped them at the entrance to the complex by installing barricades and locking the main gate.
“Mali must be tried under sedition for his anti-national view on J&K,” claimed BJYM district president Gautam Arora, adding: “Every Indian will be enraged to see the post of Mali, as he doesn’t consider J&K to be an integral part of the country. It also shows that Sidhu in inclined towards Pakistan. Sidhu supports Pakistani extremists and separatists of Kashmir. He must tender an apology to the country.”
Sidhu faces the wrath of Netizens
Besides, Sidhu has also faced the wrath of Netizens for the silence he has maintained over his advisor’s controversial remark.
Shocking & Treacherous !— Major Surendra Poonia (@MajorPoonia) August 21, 2021
Navjot Singh Sidhu’s advisor Malwinder Mali saying-“Kashmir is separate country..india captured it..”
It again proved that Sidhu is working on instructions of Imran & Gen Bajwa@RahulGandhi आपकी पार्टी के लोग क्यों देश को तोड़ना चाहते हैं ? pic.twitter.com/9KNe3kAoed
@sherryontopp siddhu is phuddu!!! He sold Indian’s interests to Bajwa. Now Malwinder Singh Mali, advisor to Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, just confirm that by calling Kashmir a separate country and India as an occupier @RahulGandhi just promoted Siddhu to do this— iamanand (@iamanan92872544) August 19, 2021
Malvinder Singh Mali claims Kashmir is a separate country
The controversy erupted after Navjot Singh Sidhu’s advisor Malvinder Singh Mali wrote in his Facebook post that Kashmir is a separate country and that India captured it.
Malvinder Singh Mali in his August 17 post wrote, “Kashmir is a separate country and India and Pakistan are illegal occupants. It belongs to the people of Kashmir.”
He spoke about the 1947 agreement made with Kashmir’s King Hari Singh. The Congress leader’s post also attacked the Union Government’s decision to scrap Article 370 and questioned: “What was the meaning of Article 370 and 35 A, which gave special state status to Kashmir in the Constitution of India?”
“Kashmir is a country of Kashmiri people, on the rules set to leave India in 1947, on the decisions of UNO, on the decisions made by India, Kashmir is divided into two pieces by Pakistan and India on top of that Occupied,” read Malvinder Singh Mali’s post.
Mali courts controversy soon after being appointed as advisor by Navjot Singh Sidhu
This is not the first time the Congress leader has sparked a row, earlier on August 13, Mali had accused CM Amarinder Singh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah of creating communal tensions in the state. This statement came hours after Malvinder Singh, who is a staunch critic of the Punjab CM, was named by Navjot Sidhu as one of his advisors.