Hours after Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday called Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan as his 'bade bhai' (elder brother) as a reply to PMU CEO Muhammad Latif who had come to welcome him, the leader faced criticisms from some of the BJP leaders.
Punjab cabinet Minister Pargat Singh defending the state Congress chief said that when PM Modi goes to Pakistan he is a 'Desh Premi, when Sidhu goes, he is 'Desh Drohi'. "Can't I call you a brother we follow Guru Nanak Dev's philosophy," the cabinet minister added.
"When PM Modi goes (to Pakistan) he is a 'Desh Premi, when Sidhu goes, he is 'Desh Drohi'...Can't I call you a brother.. We follow Guru Nanak Dev's philosophy," Pargat Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
BJP leader Amit Malviya while tweeting the video took a dig at the Congress party saying, "Rahul Gandhi's favourite Navjot Singh Sidhu calls Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan his "bada bhai". Last time he had hugged Gen Bajwa, Pakistan Army's Chief, heaped praises."
"Is it any surprise that the Gandhi siblings chose a Pakistan loving Sidhu over veteran Amarinder Singh?" Amil Malviya said.
In the video posted by Amit Malviya, Navjot Singh, who visited Kartarpur Gurdwara on Saturday, can be seen meeting a Kartarpur official.
The official can be heard greeting Navjot Singh Sidhu "on behalf of the prime minister". He said, "...we have been waiting for this day for so long."
In his reply, Navjot Singh Sidhu said, "I'm honoured. He's my elder brother... I do not deserve this, but thank you very much."
Apart from Malviya, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said it is a serious matter of concern for India. He claimed that there was a larger design at work, and Sidhu's comments were linked to a number of Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, criticising Hindutva.
Notably, in 2018, Navjot Singh Sidhu found himself embroiled in a controversy when he hugged General Bajwa during his visit to Pakistan for Imran Khan's oath-taking ceremony. He was then criticised by former Punjab Prime Minister Amarinder Singh for his 'hugplomacy'.