A day after the Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu raised the demand for opening up trade with Pakistan through Karachi and Mumbai, his colleague and MP Manish Tewari questioned it calling it “futile”. “Until Pakistan stops sending terrorists to India and dropping drugs and weapons in our areas via drones, it is useless and futile to hold any trade-related talks with Pakistan,” said Tewari, who is the MP from Anandpur Sahib.
Speaking at an interaction in his constituency Patiala, Sidhu claimed that it was necessary to establish trading ties with the neighbouring country as snapping those ties had resulted in a loss of Rs 4,000 crore and 15,000 jobs for Punjab over the past 34 months.
Sidhu’s statement on Pakistan has not only evoked strong reactions from opposition parties but his colleagues in the Congress as well. Tewari has been critical of the Punjab Congress chief’s statements in the past.
Tewari had even raised questions about Sidhu, when Captain Amarinder Singh was asked to step down as chief minister by the Congress. Tewari had criticised the party’s central leadership’s role as well as Sidhu even when state party leaders were targeting Captain over his Pakistani friend Aroosa Alam. “…in my 40 years plus in @INCIndia I have never seen such chaos & anarchy as what is playing out in @INCPunjab today. Repeated open defiance of AICC [All India Congress Committee] by a PCC President, colleagues squabbling publicly with each other like children,” Tewari had tweeted. He had also called Sidhu’s demands “daily soap opera”.
Before Sidhu was chosen as the Punjab Congress chief and was targeting the Captain-led Punjab government, Tewari had taken a dig at him saying the Congress leadership should take action against those running their “personal agenda” through social media platforms to defame the party leadership.