- Amarinder Singh had asked Navjot Sidhu to reconsider his Pak visit
- Mr Sidhu said he had the blessings of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi
- Mr Sidhu said Rahul Gandhi was his "Captain"
Punjab Minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday tackled lingering questions on his controversial Pakistan visit despite his boss Amarinder Singh's objection, saying he had the blessings of his "Captain", party chief Rahul Gandhi.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, widely known as "Captain", had said he had asked Navjot Sidhu to reconsider his decision to attend the Kartarpur Corridor event in Pakistan.
"Mere captain Rahul Gandhi hain, unhone toh bheja hai har jagah (my captain is Rahul Gandhi, he has sent me everywhere," Mr Sidhu said in Hyderabad, the reference to Amarinder Singh not lost on anyone.
The cricketer-turned-politician said he not only had the consent of his party leadership but was asked to go by "20" leaders.
#WATCH Navjot Singh Sidhu, Congress in Hyderabad: Mere captain Rahul Gandhi hain, unhone toh bheja hai har jagah (for #KartarpurCorridor). Hamare Captain sahab ke bhi Captain Rahul Gandhi ji hain' pic.twitter.com/XmagrUgfWw- ANI (@ANI) November 30, 2018
"At least 20 Congress leaders asked me to go. The central leadership of the party asked me to go. Punjab chief minister is like my father, I told him that I had already promised them (Pakistan) that I will go," Mr Sidhu said in an exclusive interview with news agency ANI.
Mr Sidhu, however, later tweeted: "Get your facts right before you distort them, Rahul Gandhi Ji never asked me to go to Pakistan. The whole world knows I went on Prime Minister Imran Khan's personal invite."
Mr Sidhu has been attacked and derided for his visit to the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor at the invitation of fellow cricket veteran and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Amarinder Singh had said on Tuesday: "I had asked Sidhu to reconsider his decision...but had acceded to his request for permission to go since I did not believe in stopping anyone from undertaking a personal visit."
He added that Mr Sidhu had told him he had already committed to the visit. "When I informed him of the stand I had taken, he said it was his personal visit but he would get back to me. But I did not hear from him," said the Chief Minister.
Mr Sidhu was seen by critics to hanker for credit in facilitating the Kartarpur corridor between the two countries, which will provide a road for Sikh pilgrims to a famous Gurudwara across the border where Guru Nanak spent his final years.
"When I first went to Pakistan and talked about them (Pakistan) promising Kartarpur Corridor, the critics mocked and made fun of me, now the same people are licking their own spit and taking U-turns," Mr Sidhu said.