Amarinder in a twitter war with Sukhjinder, defends Aroosa Alam over Sukhjinder’s probe

Chandigarh : Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said that a probe would be conducted to check if Pakistani journalist Aroosa Alam has links with the Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). On this former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh said,  it was a “baseless investigation at the cost of Punjab’s safety.” Aroosa Alam is Captain Amarinder Singh’s close friend and has been visiting him for several years.

The war of words on Friday touched a new low following Captain’s resignation from the post of Punjab chief minister. Amarinder Singh has not yet resigned from the party but has announced that he will form a new outfit which will be open for alliance with the BJP if the farmers’ issue is addressed. Time and again, Captain mentioned that Sidhu is a threat to national security because of his closeness with Pakistan and Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

On Thursday, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said it “would be probed” whether Aroosa Alam has any links with ISI and added that he had asked the director general of police (DGP) to look into it.

“Aroosa was in India for four and a half years and her visa was also extended from time to time. Why did Delhi not cancel her visa? Why did she leave India when we went against Amarinder Singh?” he asked.

“I think all this needs to be probed and Captain Amarinder too will have to give answers to these questions,” he added.

Captain Amarinder Singh responded with a string of tweets put out by his media advisor Raveen Thukral. He accused the deputy chief minister of “resorting to personal attacks”.

He added, “You were a minister in my cabinet. Never heard you complain about Aroosa Alam. And she’d been coming for 16 years with due GoI [Government of India] clearances. Or are you alleging that both NDA and Congress-led UPA govts in this period connived with Pakistan’s ISI?”

Captain Amarinder Singh also said, “Instead of focusing on maintaining law and order at a time when terror threat is high and festivals are around the corner, you’ve put Punjab DGP on a baseless investigation at the cost of Punjab’s safety.”

When Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa responded on Twitter by asking why Captain Amarinder Singh was “so perturbed over the probe on Aroosa and ISI links”, the former chief minister said, “You seem to be perturbed and confused, if your flip flops are any indication. Why don’t you make up your mind on this so-called probe against Aroosa Alam?”

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa also said that it would be probed as to who had sponsored Aroosa Alam’s visa all these years.

To this, Captain Amarinder Singh said he had sponsored it for 16 years and that the visa requests were cleared by the Research and Analysis Wing and the Intelligence Bureau.

He also said that a detailed inquiry had been conducted in 2007. “You still want to waste Punjab’s resources on this? I’ll help you with whatever you need,” he concluded.

Finally, Raveen Thukral posted a photograph of Aroosa Alam with Congress leader Sonia Gandhi with the caption, “Just by the way”.

Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Amarinder Singh are not newfound enemies. In fact, the former was among the main Congress leaders that revolted against Amarinder Singh when he was the chief minister, eventually leading to his resignation.

Now that he parted ways with the Congress party, Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said he would soon float his own political party, He said he is hopeful of a seat-sharing arrangement with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in next year’s Punjab Assembly polls if the farmers’ issue is resolved in their interest.

Reacting to this, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa called Amarinder Singh an ‘opportunist’.

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