Rahul Gandhi should offer a clarification, and expel Sidhu from his party: Giriraj Singh

Begusarai: Union minister Giriraj Singh demanded the expulsion of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu from the Congress on Sunday over his comments on the Pulwama terror attack.

The firebrand BJP leader also hailed the Centre’s decision to withdraw the security cover of six Kashmiri separatist leaders, saying they were “traitors” who were being “treated like guests”.

“Congress president Rahul Gandhi should offer a clarification, apologise before the nation and expel Sidhu from his party,” Singh told reporters.

He was replying to a query on the Punjab minister who had, while denouncing the terror attack that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel, asked if entire Pakistan must be held responsible for the terrorist activities patronised on their soil.

Sidhu, who made his political debut as a BJP MP in 2004 but joined the Congress ahead of the 2017 assembly polls in Punjab, had drawn flak in 2018 when he visited Pakistan to attend the swearing-in of Prime Minister Imran Khan and greeted a top military official of Pakistan with a hug.

After the Pulwama terror attack Sidhu said during a media interaction, “Nations cannot be held responsible for the dastardly acts of terrorists. The terrorists do not have deen, mazhab (sect and religion). There are good, the bad and the ugly. Every institution has them. Every nation has them. The ugly need to be punished. But individuals cannot be blamed for the dastardly act.”

These remarks have evoked outrage in political circles as well as on social media and he has apparently been asked to leave the comedy show hosted by Kapil Sharma.

Talking about the withdrawal of security and other facilities extended to separatist leaders, the Union minister said, “For long, we have treated them like guests. Time has come to mete out a treatment to them that traitors deserve.”

(With inputs from PTI)