CHANDIGARH/LUDHIANA, Jan 11: Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Amarinder Singh engaged in a war of words over the Kartarpur corridor issue Friday, with the Union minister accusing the Punjab government of non-cooperation and the chief minister countering her, saying the ball was totally in Centre’s court.
Badal, the Union minister for food processing industries, charged the Singh-led Punjab government with not being serious about the early opening of the corridor that will facilitate Sikh pilgrims from India in visiting the historic Kartarpur gurdwara in Pakistan.
“The central government is doing its best on a war footing to complete the corridor at the earliest,” she told reporters in Ludhiana.
The Punjab government has been asked to start acquisition of land, she said, adding, “It was sad that the Punjab government was not cooperating the way it should.”
She said the Punjab government took one and a half months to send the minutes of the high-level joint meeting of central and Punjab government officials on the matter.
However, Singh made it clear that the ball was totally in the Centre’s court as the state government has sent a reminder to the Ministry of Home Affairs on the matter 11 days ago asking them about further actions required by the state government.
Singh said Badal was brazenly playing with sentiments of people to promote the interest of her family members who, he added, were desperate to return to Punjab’s political scene.
A statement quoting the chief minister said, a meeting was held on December 12, 2018 under the chairmanship of additional chief secretary, department of home affairs and justice, Punjab. Since it was a bilateral issue with wider ramifications, the follow-up meeting was proposed to be held under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
Singh made it clear that any move to acquire the land can be initiated only after the approval of the Union government.
Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, is said to have lived in Kartarpur in Pakistan for 18 years till 1539. The Gurdwara Darbar Sahib is built where he took his last breath. (PTI)