After his pilgrimage at theGurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on Saturday, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu addressed Pakistan Prime Minister, his friend since cricket days, as his “elder brother”. Sidhu, who has been repeatedly credited by PM Khan for the idea of the corridor, reached Kartarpur Sahib three days after the corridor was reopened on Thursday.
Sidhu’s speech in Pakistan has drawn the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ire as the latter slammed the cricketer-turned-politician for referring the Pakistan PM as his “bada bhai (elder brother in Hindi)”.
Taking to Twitter, BJP spokesperson Amit Malviya, said, “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?”
Sidhu was left out from the Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Channi-led ‘jatha’ that visited the Gurdwara on its reopening day on November 18. On Thursday, had shared a video, recalling his visits to Pakistan, including the shrine, he had uploaded over an hour-long visual, comprising several clippings of his visits to various places in the neighbouring country. He named it “The Kartarpur Story”.
In a tweet, Sidhu had said that Guru Nanak’s teachings are the centrifugal force of Sikhism. On Friday, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, Sidhu visited Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala.
As the Kartarpur Sahib corridor reopened after a 20-month gap due to Covid-19, Pakistan PM Imran Khan government praised Sidhu for his role in opening the route to the Sikh pilgrimage between the two countries. A reference to Sidhu was made on the kartarpurcorridor.com website which said that idea of the corridor was shared by Khan with Sidhu.
On Thursday, Channi and some of his Cabinet ministers offered prayers at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, travelling there through the visa-free Kartarpur corridor. “I am very happy to come here. I have received immense love from Punjabis, Pakistanis and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, and I am highly indebted for this,” Channi said after reaching the shrine.
Several pilgrims travelled through the Kartarpur Corridor on Wednesday and others made plans to offer prayers at the historic Sikh shrine in Pakistan.
The Kartarpur Corridor links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district. Gurpurab, which marks the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, will be celebrated on November 19.
Meanwhile, in another development, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal postponed his visit to poll-bound Punjab to November 22. Kejriwal was supposed to travel to Punjab’s Moga on Saturday.
“AAP National Convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘Mission Punjab’ tour, which was scheduled to start from Moga, has been postponed for November 22,” a party release stated.
The AAP will hold ‘Sri Sukhmani Sahib Paath’ at all district headquarters of the state on November 20 in the wake of the Centre’s announcement of repealing the farm laws.
With inputs from News18