The Akali Dal asked Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday whether "India is his priority" or not, a sharp attack after a prominent pro-Khalistan separatist leader shared his purported photograph with the Punjab Cabinet minister on social media.
Gopal Singh Chawla, the general secretary of Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (PSGPC), on Thursday shared the photograph on his Facebook page.
Chawla, a known pro-Khalistan voice, was also seen shaking hands with Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the ground-breaking ceremony of Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan on Wednesday.
"There was a link between Gopal Chawla and a terrorist attack that took place in Amritsar (on Nirankari Bhavan), which is his (Sidhu's) constituency. If he shakes hands with him or do something with him, then Sidhu has to answer in order to clear whether country is his priority or something else," SAD president Sukhbir Badal said.
Three people were killed while over 20 were injured in a grenade attack on Nirankari Bhavan in Amritsar on November 18. Badal said Sidhu should have known that Pakistan has been involved in pushing drugs into Punjab.
"It is Gen Bajwa who is behind killing our youth with whom he hakes hands." Taking a swipe at the Congress president, Badal said Rahul Gandhi has a "very good opportunity" to expand his party to Pakistan by making Sidhu the chief of the party's unit there.
However, Congress leader Raj Kumar Verka slammed the Akali Dal for attacking Sidhu and not taking action against Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Gobind Singh Longowal, whose photograph with Chawla has also appeared on social media.
"I feel Sukhbir Badal, Badal family and BJP is suffering from Sidhu phobia. I think they chant Sidhu's name more than Baba (Guru) Nanak Dev," said Verka.
"Longowal knows Chawla very well. He knows Chawla is a member of (Pakistan) Gurdwara committee. He also knows Chawla is our country's enemy. Despite this, Longowal posed with Chawla for a picture. Sidhu even does not know about Chawla," claimed Verka.
Verka asked Badal whether he would seek resignation of Longowal as SGPC chief. Meanwhile, former chief of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee Paramjit Singh Sarna claimed that Sidhu avoided Chawla many times."But he (Chawla) managed to get a picture clicked with him," said Sarna at Attari in Amritsar.
Sidhu, Longowal and Sarna had attended the ground-breaking ceremony in Pakistan.