Malvinder Singh Mali, the recently-appointed advisor to Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu, has quit after sparking a row over his comments on Kashmir, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
This comes after Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat asked Sidhu to remove his advisors, Mali and Pyare Lal Garg, who have continued with their attacks on CM Amarinder Singh and his aides over the past two weeks.
“I humbly submit that I withdraw my consent given for tendering suggestions to Navjot Singh Sidhu,” Mali said in a statement continuing his attack on the Chief Minister and other leaders for launching a ‘hateful’ campaign against him.
The comments by Sidhu’s advisors is being seen as yet another cause of rift between the Chief Minister and Punjab Congress president. The two are at loggerheads once again, barely a month after they had agreed to work together following Sidhu's appointment as Punjab Congress chief.
Mali, 63, had led a political storm due to his comments in the last few days, when in a television interview, he reportedly said “Kashmir was a separate country.”
In another interview, Mali said Amarinder Singh would be “happy to see SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal as the next chief minister” instead of Sidhu. He also invited criticism for his social media profile picture -- the cover of Jantak Paigam, a Punjabi magazine which has a sketch of Indira Gandhi with a skull. He also appeared to support the Taliban against the United States in a recent Facebook post.
Captain Amarinder Singh had hit out at Mali and Garg, asking them last week to restrict themselves to doing their job. Even Congress member of parliament Manish Tewari urged Rawat to take note of the advisors' views.Sidhu was made Punjab Congress president last month in a bid to resolve the infighting in the state unit of the party ahead of assembly elections in 2022. Cricketer-turned-politician, Sidhu, has been at the centre of a raging rebellion in the ruling Punjab Congress against Captain Singh.