Congress's central leadership wanted me to go to Pakistan: Sidhu

Vikas SV

Hyderabad, Nov 30: Under fire for going to Pakistan despite Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh asking him not to, Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday said the central leadership of the Congress and at least 20 others from the party wanted him to go.

Amarinder Singh had advised Sidhu to reconsider his decision to attend the foundation stone ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor on 28 November 2018, in Pakistan. Singh said that Sidhu did not get back to him on the matter.

"Ok, but atleast 20 Congress leaders asked me to go, Central leadership asked me to go. Punjab CM is like my father, I told him that I had already promised them(Pakistan) that I will go," Sidhu told ANI.

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"When I first went to Pakistan and talked about them promising Kartarpur Corridor, the critics mocked and made fun of me, now the same people are licking their own spit and taking U-turns," he added.

Sidhu also exuded confidence that Congress would form the government at the Centre after 2019 Lok Sabha elections and said that Rahul Gandhi would hoist the tri colour from Red Fort.

Singh had said that Navjot Sidhu was campaigning in Madhya Pradesh when he told him to reconsider his decision.

"Sidhu told me he had already committed himself to going. When I informed him of the stand I had taken on the issue, he said it was his personal visit but he would get back to me. But I did not hear from him," Singh said.

He added the cabinet minister had sent him a request for going and he approved it. "I do not stop anyone from going anywhere on a private visit. It is not an official visit," the chief minister said.

On November 28, the Congress has tried to distance itself from Navjot Singh Sidhu after he attended the Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony. The official guests representing the Indian Government for the function were Union Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Puri. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was invited, but she turned down the invitation.

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"Navjot Singh Sidhu went there on personal invitation. He didn't go there in an official capacity as a Minister. This has also been clarified by the Punjab CM. The onus of whatever he says there in his personal capacity lies on him alone," Congress' Pratap Singh Bajwa had said on November 28.

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