Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has said that he was not at ‘loggerheads’ with his cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu as reported by a section of media. Singh, however, added that Sidhu often spoke in a ‘forthright manner’ adding that ‘his (Sidhu’s) only problem is that sometimes he shoots before he thinks.’
“Newspapers ten to take off in the wrong direction… Sidhu and I are not at loggerheads and I have absolutely no problems with Sidhu while running the government,” the Punjab chief minister said while speaking to CNN News18. Singh’s comments assume significance in light of Sidhu’s decision to travel to Pakistan for the opening of the Kartarpur corridor even when the Punjab chief minister had turned out the invitation from the neighbouring country.
He had also criticised Sidhu in the past when he travelled to Pakistan in August to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan.
Singh said that opening of the Kartarpur border was a game plan the ISI (Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence). He said, “A bigger conspiracy seems to have been hatched by Pakistan Army against India. Pakistan is attempting to revive militancy in Punjab and thus everyone should be wary of all of its overtures, no matter how grand they appear to be.”
Singh clarified that he had several friends in Pakistan, including former Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi. He said, “We had been meeting frequently during my previous tenure and Elahi had also been coming to meet me in Patiala.”
Sidhu’s comments that his real captain was Congress President Rahul Gandhi had given rise to speculations that all was not well between him and the Punjab chief minister, who himself is popularly referred to as ‘captain.’
Singh also said that the issue of Kartarpur was first raised by Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he was the prime minister. “When I went (to Pakistan) in 2004, he asked me to see the Punjab chief minister and Mr Musharraf, General Pervez Musharraf. Which I did.”
He added, “Here, it’s a very interesting scenario that’s developing. You have the ISI, very operative in Punjab now. Today, they are coming here with weaponry and all.