Navjot Singh Sidhu part of third jatha to Kartarpur, Charanjit Singh Channi deflects blame


Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18

Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi led an official delegation to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan on Thursday. He was accompanied by his family members and some cabinet colleagues and MLAs. Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Navjot Sidhu, who played a key role in the inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor in November 2018, was not part of the delegation.

Navjot Singh Sidhu

Late on Wednesday, Sidhu was informed that his name was in the third list of VIPs who visited the temple on November 20, a day after the Guruparv. When contacted, his media advisor Jagtar Sidhu said that the form was filled in time to get the permission. “That the PPCC chief was not included in the official delegation earlier is a matter between the Center and the Punjab government. Only they can give reasons,” he said.

The Chief Minister’s Office said later in the day that a list of 50 VIPs, including Sidhu, PPCC working presidents and senior MLAs, was sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the evening of November 16. Citing security concerns, the Center refused to allow all VIPs to visit Kartarpur Sahib on the same day, dividing the VIPs into three groups. Sidhu will visit Sultanpur Lodhi for the Gurparv function.

Those accompanying CM Channi today included Manpreet Badal, Rana Gurjit Singh, Vijay Inder Singla, Harpratap Ajnala and Barindermeet Pahra. Channi’s close relatives and ministers, who did not require permission The MHA, too, was part of the delegation. On Friday, a 15-member delegation led by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Ministers Tript Bajwa, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Randeep Nabha and Rajkumar Verka, besides some members of the Legislative Assembly will offer prayers at the temple.

On November 20, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President, Working President Kuljit Nagra, Congress in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Chaudhary and other ministers and MLAs will visit the dargah.