The Akali Dal asked Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday whether "India is his priority" or not in a sharp attack, after a prominent pro-Khalistan separatist leader shared a photograph with him on social media.
Gopal Singh Chawla, the general secretary of Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (PSGPC) shared the photograph on his Facebook page. A well-known pro-Khalistan voice, he was also seen shaking hands with Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the Kartarpur Corridor ceremony 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 does anything else, then Sidhu has to answer in order to make it clear whether country is his priority or something else," SAD president Sukhbir Badal said.
He added that Mr 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 shakes hands," he said.
Taking a swipe a Rahul Gandhi, Mr Badal said he had a "very good opportunity" to expand his party to Pakistan by making Mr Sidhu the chief of the party's unit there.
However, Congress leader Raj Kumar Verka slammed the Akali Dal for attacking Mr Sidhu and not taking action against Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Gobind Singh Longowal, whose photograph with with Gopal Chawla has also appeared on social media.