State clearly if you support Punjab leaders' comments on Kashmir, Pak: BJP chief to Congress leadership24 August 2021
(Eds: Updating with more inputs) New Delhi: Stepping up attack on the Congress over the controversial comments by its Punjab leaders on Kashmir and Pakistan, the BJP on Tuesday alleged that it reflected the opposition party's divisive and anti-India approach. In a series of tweets, BJP president J P Nadda asked the Congress national leadership to state clearly its stand on the issue as silence will be seen as 'implicit support' to them. Nadda said, 'Recent comments by Punjab Congress leaders, who enjoy the patronage of the topmost state leadership as well as the High Command in Delhi, are reprehensible. They are repeatedly making irresponsible statements that have grave implications on national security.' Two advisors of Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu have sparked a massive row with their comments. Malvinder Singh Mali had claimed that 'Kashmir is a country of Kashmiri people' while another advisor, Pyare Lal Garg, had taken a swipe at Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for criticising Pakistan, saying it is not in Punjab's interest. Nadda said, 'I would urge the topmost national leadership of the Congress to state clearly whether they support the remarks on Kashmir and Pakistan made by Congress leaders in Punjab? Silence on the matter will be seen as implicit support to such objectionable remarks.' Later addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters, party spokesperson Sambit Patra said such remarks could not have been made by the Congress leaders without the approval of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. 'The remarks made by advisors of Punjab Congress chief clearly show that the party has divisive and anti-India approach towards Kashmir,' Patra said. Taking on the Congress over Garg's remark that Pakistan should not be criticised, Patra said that 'these people earn their livelihood in India but sing Pakistan's tune'. Patra also asked why Sidhu, who hugged the Pakistan Army Chief, had been made Congress' Punjab unit chief and 'on whose behest'. The comments by Mali and Garg have drawn angry reactions from some Congress leaders, including Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, as well.