BJP Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni on Thursday slammed former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat for calling the Pakistan military chief “brother”, drawing a sharp reaction from the Congress leader who said he doesn’t need a lecture on nationalism from him. Rawat recently in a tweet justified his party’s Punjab unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu’s act of hugging Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the swearing-in of Imran Khan in Islamabad, asking how could one Punjabi “bhra” (brother) hugging one other be an act of sedition.
If there was nothing improper in Narendra Modi going uninvited to Nawaz Sharif’s birthday and hugging him, how might Sidhu hugging Bajwa be an act of sedition, he had mentioned. Objecting to it, Baluni mentioned it was “unlucky and hurting” that Rawat had used the word for someone “whose hands are steeped in the blood of India’s brave soldiers”.
“What form of politics of appeasement is that this,” he asked. “It is more shocking as it comes from a man who belongs to Devbhoomi where every family has someone in the armed forces,” Baluni mentioned. The BJP MP additionally lashed out at Rawat for praising Sidhu.
“How might he reward Sidhu who has been described by his personal senior social gathering colleague and former chief minister Amarinder Singh as a risk to nationwide safety,” Baluni asked referring to a comment by the ex-Punjab CM, who resigned from the post recently. Rawat, who is also the chief of the Congress campaign committee in poll-bound Uttarakhand, said he does not want a lecture from his BJP friends on nationalism and martyrdom. He said his relatives are in the armed forces from the rank of a jawan to brigadier. Rawat said he was proud of the fact that his son-in-law attained martyrdom fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. “Baluni does not need reminding me of our great military traditions,” he mentioned.
Justifying his description of Bajwa as Punjabi “brother”, he said that part of India’s Punjab which is now in Pakistan is also called Punjab.