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Sidhu Faces Flak From BJP, AAP & Cong Leader Manish Tewari For Calling Imran Khan ‘Bada Bhai’

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party, Aam Aadmi Party and even a senior Congress leader on Saturday hit at Navjot Singh Sidhu after he sparked fresh controversy by calling Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan his ‘bada bhai’ (elder brother) during a trip to Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara across the border.

WATCH | Navjot Singh Sidhu Responds To BJP’s Attack Over Calling Pakistan PM Imran Khan ‘Bada Bhai’

During Sidhu’s visit, when Kartarpur Corridor Project Management Unit CEO Muhammad Latif welcomed the former Test cricketer at the zero point and extended best wishes to him and his delegation on behalf of PM Imran Khan, Sidhu was effusive in his praise for his ex-cricket rival.

The Punjab Congress chief responded to the welcome saying: “Mera bada bhai hai.. Usne bohot pyaar diya hai mujhe. (He is my elder brother.. He has given me a lot of love)”.

The matter gained attention as BJP IT department head Amit Malviya shared a video of the incident on Twitter, writing: “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’s description of Imran Khan ruffled feathers in India as even his party colleague Manish Tewari took a swipe at him.

“@ImranKhanPTI may be anybody’s elder brother but for India he is that cat’s paw of Pak Deep State ISI-Military combine that drones arms & narcotics into Punjab & sends terrorists on a daily basis across LOC in J&K,” the senior Congress leader wrote.

“Have we forgotten martyrdom of our soldiers in Poonch so soon,” the MP from Anandpur Sahib added.

Responding to a question on Sidhu’s comment, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said the country should be paramount for public representatives.

“It is expected that the country should be paramount for all public representatives, whether they say their point in the house or outside,” he told reporters in Jaipur, as quoted by PTI.

Cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir also took to Twitter and wrote: “Send ur son or daughter to the border & then call a terrorist state head ur big brother!”.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra called it a serious matter of concern for Indians, claiming that there was a larger design at work.

He alleged that Sidhu’s comments were linked to a number of Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, criticising Hindutva.

Referring to recent controversy over Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s statement in his latest book, Sambit Patra said that the opposition party sees terror groups such as the ISIS and the Boko Haram in Hindutva while it finds a “bhai jaan” in Khan.

The BJP spokesperson recalled how Sidhu had praised Imran Khan and Pakistan earlier and had hugged its army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa during a previous trip to the neighbouring country.

 AAP, Congress party’s strong challenger in Punjab, also attacked Navjot Singh Sidhu, terming his remark “deeply worrying”.

“Deeply worrying that Punjab’s ruling party chief & Chief Minister are professing their love for Pak PM & Pakistan–a country that exports terror, executes terror modules, sends tiffin bombs & drones arms/drugs into Punjab,” Raghav Chadha, co-in-charge of the AAP’s political affairs in Punjab, wrote in a tweet.

“Do Sidhu and Channi not value the martyrdom of our jawans?” he asked.

Meanwhile, when asked about BJP’s attack on him over the fresh row, the Punjab Congress President had responded saying: “Let BJP say whatever they want…”.

(With Agency Inputs)

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