NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH: Congress leader Manish Tewari on Monday urged the party to introspect on whether those who do not consider Jammu and Kashmir as a part of India and have pro-Pakistan leanings should be part of its Punjab unit, in a swipe at two advisers of Navjot Singh Sidhu.
His remarks came a day after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh took strong exception to the recent remarks of the two advisers of the party’s state unit president Sidhu on sensitive national issues like Kashmir and Pakistan.
Facing criticism, Sidhu has summoned his advisers Malvinder Singh Mali and Pyare Lal Garg to his residence in Patiala on Monday.
In a tweet, Tewari said, “I urge Harish Rawat, AICC Gen Secy in-charge Punjab to seriously introspect that those who do not consider J&K to be a part of India and others who have ostensibly Pro-Pakistan leanings should be a part of Punjab Congress.”
He said such people mock all those who have shed blood for India.
Chief Minister Singh has described the remarks by Sidhu’s advisers as atrocious and ill-conceived comments that were potentially dangerous to the peace and stability of the state and the country.
The Punjab CM also asked Sidhu to “rein in” his advisers, who he said, should stick to giving advice to the PPCC president and not speak on matters “of which they clearly had little or no knowledge and had no understanding of the implications of their comments”.
Sidhu on August 11 had appointed Mali, a former government teacher and political analyst, and Garg, a former registrar of Baba Farid University of Health and Sciences, as his advisers to seek their “wise counsel.”
In a recent social media post, Mali had waded into the issue of revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
He had reportedly said if Kashmir was a part of India, then what was the need to have Articles 370 and 35A.
He had also said, “Kashmir is a country of Kashmiri people.”
Garg had reportedly questioned the chief minister’s criticism of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal questioned the “silence” of Sidhu on the matter.
Sidhu has not contradicted the statements of his advisers yet, said SAD leader and former minister Daljit Singh Cheema.
“He (Sidhu) stays silent on the matter. It means they (advisers) are making such comments with the consent of Sidhu,” said Cheema.