Principal strategic advisor to Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, Mohammad Mustafa on Sunday alleged that by calling the cricketer-turned-politician a "traitor" and saying that he has relations with Pakistan, former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is "targeting the Gandhi family".
Speaking to reporters in Chandigarh today, Mr Mustafa said, "Navjot Singh Sidhu is not a traitor. Captain Amarinder Singh is not authorised to certify who is is a traitor and who is a patriot. By calling (Navjot) Sidhu a traitor, Captain has actually targetted Rahul and Sonia Gandhi. I have not called Captain a traitor. Captain Amarinder Singh might be a nationalist but the army and police personnel can also be traitors."
He further said, "Captain can say whatever he wants to say about Sidhu but (Navjot) Sidhu is not a traitor. By saying that (Navjot) Sidhu has relations with Pakistan, Captain is targeting the Gandhi family. I cannot tolerate such remarks about the Gandhi family which made Sidhu whatever he is today."
Mr Sidhu's advisor said that although the Congress "tolerated" Captain Amarinder Singh for 4.5 years, if he would have been the party leader, he would have removed Singh in merely 30 days.
"Captain Amarinder Singh has been humiliating Punjab for the last 5 years. The people in this party have been tolerating him for the last 4.5 years. If I was the leader of the party, then I would have removed Captain from the party in 30 days. Now if he speaks a word, I will come up with an entire book against him," added Mr Mustafa.
Mr Mustafa's remarks came a day after Captain Amarinder Singh had told ANI hours after stepping down from the post of the Punjab Chief Minister in an exclusive interview that he will oppose any move to make Sidhu chief ministerial face for reasons of national security.
He also termed Mr Sidhu, who is Punjab Congress chief, as "incompetent".
"Navjot Singh Sidhu is an incompetent man, he is going to be a disaster. I will oppose his name for the next CM face. He has a connection with Pakistan. It will be a threat to national security..." Amarinder Singh told ANI.
Captain Amarinder Singh had said Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is Mr Sidhu's "friend".
"He is friends with Imran Khan and General Bajwa. Daily so many drones, weapons, explosives, grenades, pistols, rifles, AK47s, RDX, heroine is coming (in Punjab). Where is all this coming from, from Pakistan....when he knows the bigwigs from Pakistan and we share a 600 km border with Pakistan, it is a matter of national security," Amarinder Singh had said.
Amarinder Singh resigned as the chief minister of Punjab on Saturday following months of infighting between him and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Sources close to Mr Sidhu said, "Whatever name is agreed for the Chief Minister, it will be accompanied by two deputy Chief Ministers. However, the decisions of Deputy Chief Ministers will depend on who has been named as the Chief Minister."
These development came months before the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections.