Several hoardings which had surfaced here across the holy city, hailing Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan as “real heroes” for turning the Kartarpur Corridor project into a reality, were on Wednesday brought down hurriedly by some unknown persons and municipal workers.
The hoardings, which surfaced on Tuesday, credited the cricketer-turned-politicians for making the project, giving Sikh devotees an easy access to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara across the border in Pakistan, a reality.
The hoardings, carrying Sidhu’s picture alongside Khan’s, read in Gurmukhi, “Sidhu and Imran Khan are the real heroes for making the Kartarpur corridor project a reality... the credit goes to them.” But barely a day after the hoardings came up in the city, some unknown people along with Amritsar Municipal Corporation workers removed them.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor at Dera Baba Nanak on November 9. The hoardings, hailing Sidhu and Khan as “real heroes” of the corridor project, had been put up in the city by former cricketer’s staunch supporter and municipal Councillor Harpal Singh Verka, whose picture too adorned the hoardings.
Verka said he put up hoardings at various prominent locations including Ranjit Avenue, Mall Road and Amritsar East Assembly constituency, from where Sidhu is an MLA. Sidhu’s wife and former MLA Navjot Kaur Sidhu said removing hoardings was prerogative of the administration.
Talking to mediapersons here, Kaur said, As far as the matter of removal of hoardings at various locations of the city is concerned, I feel nothing wrong in it, it is prerogative of administration, as the hoardings were carrying pictures of prime minister of another country.
“Moreover, all such hoardings were hanged by one of the municipal councilor who never asked us before installing the hoardings in the city.
Talking to mediapersons on Wednesday, Harpal Singh said Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan had extended the invitation to his friend Navjot Singh Sidhu during the former’s swearing-in ceremony in Pakistan earlier, when Sidhu suggested Khan to open the Kartarpur Sahib corridor for Sikh devotees.
“I have put up numerous hoardings as I desired to send out the message to the people about Sidhu’s role in getting the corridor opened,” he quipped.
He said Sidhu was the first Indian politician who received the invitation from Imran Khan two days ago to attend the corridor’s opening ceremony.
Expressing happiness over the opening of corridor, Navjot Kaur said, It hardly matters to whom credit should be given for the opening of corridor. But only thing matters that the corridor is opened now for the devotees and Kartarpur sahib gurdwara is now accessible to them.”
Navjot Singh Sidhu had drawn the flak for hugging Pakistan’s army chief during his Islamabad visit last year.
Sidhu, however, had defended his act of hugging Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the swearing-in ceremony of the Pakistan prime minister, saying it was his “emotional response” on learning that Sikh pilgrims may now be allowed to visit the Kartarpur shrine across the border.
Sidhu was slammed by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and the Akali Dal in Punjab, and was criticised even by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for hugging Bajwa at Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony.