The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday slammed Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for his remarks on south Indians.
Addressing the media at a press conference at New Delhi, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra accused Sidhu of insulting India and praising Pakistan.
“Sidhu’s statement reflects an attempt at creating a divide between north Indians and south Indians,” he said, adding that it is a conspiracy by the Congress.
Calling Pakistan cowards, Patra asked why the Congress is displaying such affection for the neighbouring country.
“In its desperation, the Congress is supporting cowards. We want to know why the party is showing so much of love towards Pakistan,” he said.
Commenting on the controversial hug that Sidhu gave to Pakistani army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his visit to Pakistan in August, Patra said that the “readiness to hug enemies and the hurriedness to undervalue India reveals a lot of things”.
At the 7th Khushwant Singh Literature Fest on Saturday, Sidhu had said, “If I go to Tamil Nadu, I don’t understand the language. Not that I don’t like the food, but I can’t take it for long. Culture is totally different. But if I travel to Pakistan there is no difficulty. Language is same and everything there is just amazing.”
Earlier on Sunday, BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao demanded that Sidhu be sacked.
“We know your party loves Pakistan and your members sing its praises. Rahul Gandhi should apologise to every south Indian and make Navjot Singh Sidhu apologise too. Sidhu should be sacked,” said Narasimha Rao.
The AIADMK has also slammed Sidhu for comparing Pakistan with Tamil Nadu as its spokesperson Muralidaran Shivalingam said, “In a lighter note, let Sidhu go to Pakistan if he likes it so much. There is no point taking his statement seriously, he is a comedian and when he was with the BJP he abused Sonia Gandhi and now he is falling at her feet. The same people had criticised the AIADMK culture of falling at Anna’s feet. Just take his comment with a pinch of salt and not make this a huge issue or subject of national debate.”