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Sidhu's Hug, Captain's Response - And Sonia Gandhi To The Rescue

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Grown men, with or without consent, hugging each other is the new leitmotif in Indian politics. After Rahul Gandhi's stealth hug of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, now it's Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu's hug of Pakistani army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, that has upset his boss, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, the BJP and a section of the "nationalist" media.

The BJP is the opposition in Punjab so its objections are only to be expected, if irrational. The curious part is Amarinder Singh going public with his anger at his minister. "Everyday our jawans are getting martyred. To hug their Chief General Bajwa...I am against this. The fact is that the man should understand that our soldiers are being killed", he said, putting on display a huge rift brewing within the Punjab Congress. Sidhu, who is never averse to publicity, good or bad, is likely to hit back as Singh buffs up his military image (he served as a captain in the Indian Army).

Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu hugging Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, ready for another foreign tour, should worry as Punjab is the last major state governed by his party. Sources in the Congress say that emergency firefighting was done last evening, but the truce is tenuous at best.

Sidhu, who switched to the Congress from the BJP ahead of the Punjab election in September 2016, had earlier created controversy when........