NEW DELHI: Cricketer-turned-Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday made a big U-turn over his decision to visit Kartarpur and said he never went there on the directives of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
"Get your facts right before you distort them. Rahul Gandhi Ji never asked me to go to Pakistan," Mr Sidhu tweeted. "The whole world knows I went on Prime Minister Imran Khan's personal invite," he said.
Mr Sidhu courted a major controversy when he mocked at the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh. On Friday, the Punjab Minister said at Hyderabad: "It is Rahulji who sends me everywhere". "Which Captain are we talking about. He is an army captain (Chief Minister Amarinder Singh). For me Rahulji is captain. Rahul Gandhi is captain for Amarinder Singh also," he had said on Friday.
To a question why did he go to Kartarpur when the Chief Minister had advised him not to do so, the Punjab Minister said: "In Congress, there are 50 other leaders like Harish Rawat, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Shashi Tharoor who had complimented my Pakistan visit".
Meanwhile, Tript Bajwa, Punjab Housing Minister, has said that after having criticised and mocked at the Chief Minister in the manner he did it, "Navjot Singh Sidhu has no moral right to continue as a minister under Amarinder Singh."
Since he does not know who the captain of the ship is, he (Sidhu) may jump from the ship, he said.
"As an elder brother, my advice to Sidhu Sahab is please focus more on works and actions and less on speaking," Mr Bajwa said.
"If he cannot show respect to the Chief Minister, Mr Sidhu must quit his cabinet and take instructions from Congress President Rahul Gandhi and work accordingly," Mr Bajwa said.
BJP leaders and union Ministers including Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Prakash Javadekar have also criticised Mr Sidhu for using laudatory remarks about Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in his Kartarpur speech on November 28.