New Delhi: Almost two weeks after Navjot Singh Sidhu's controversial remarks that Pakistan cannot be blamed for the Pulwama attack, the Congress on Thursday attempted to save face and called it his personal opinion.
Sidhu had been widely slammed for advocating peace with a country that had sheltered several terror outfits with a proven anti-India agenda. Even after Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF troopers lost their lives, the Punjab minister had said that Pakistan cannot be blamed for it. While political leaders across Punjab had demanded his resignation, Congress on Thursday attempted to steer itself away from the row. "There is a time to act and a time to talk. Dialogue can only take place when the atmosphere is conducive for it. The current atmosphere is not conducive. If Navjot Singh Sidhu has an opinion, that is his personal opinion and not that of the Congress," said party spokesperson Manish Tewari.
While Sidhu may have advocated dialogue as the way forward with a country that refuses to acknowledge, let alone act against home-grown terror, Congress has been slammed for playing politics at a time when India-Pakistan tensions are on an upward trajectory.
In a joint statement released by 21 opposition parties led by Congress on Wednesday, the Modi government was accused of playing politics with the sacrifices of the Indian armed forces. A day later, Tewari accused PM Narendra Modi of addressing booth workers rather than the nation amid tensions with Pakistan. The tone and tenor of Congress led finance minister Arun Jaitley to call for opposition parties to introspect and not make 'ill-advised statements'.