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Punjab to Probe if Amarinder's Pak Journo-Friend Has ISI Links; Captain, Randhawa Draw Swords on Twitter

News18 logo News18 23-10-2021 Swati Bhan
Punjab to Probe if Amarinder's Pak Journo-Friend Has ISI Links; Captain, Randhawa Draw Swords on Twitter © Provided by News18 Punjab to Probe if Amarinder's Pak Journo-Friend Has ISI Links; Captain, Randhawa Draw Swords on Twitter

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on Friday said a probe has been ordered to ascertain whether Pakistani journalist Aroosa Alam, a long-time personal friend of Captain Amarinder Singh, has links with the ISI, prompting a sharp response from the ousted chief minister.

In a now-deleted tweet, Randhawa, who also holds the Home portfolio, claimed Singh has been friends with Alam for years, and that she stayed in India for many years and her visa was extended by the Centre from time to time.

Randhawa also referred to Singh’s previous statements as chief minister when he voiced concerns over Punjab facing threats from across the border with seizures of several drones and ammunition.

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“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, referring to the latter’s ouster after an acrimonious break-up with the Punjab Congress led by rival Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Randhawa deleted his tweet a short while later, but Amarinder Singh was quick to respond, questioning why the deputy CM was making the claims now and didn’t raise them when he was a minister in his cabinet.

“You were a minister in my cabinet @Sukhjinder_INC. Never heard you complain about Aroosa Alam. And she’d been coming for 16 years with due GoI clearances. Or are you alleging that both NDA and @INC India led UPA govts in this period connived with Pak ISI?” Singh’s media adviser quoted him as saying on Twitter.

The former CM also accused Randhawa of resorting to “personal attacks”. “So now you’re resorting to personal attacks @Sukhjinder_INC. One month after you taking over, this is all you have to show to the people. What happened to all your tall promises on Bargari and drugs cases? Punjab is still waiting for your promised actions,” he said.

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“What I’m worried about @Sukhjinder_INC is that 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 @DGP Punjab Police on a baseless investigation at the cost of Punjab’s safety,” he added.

On Tuesday, Singh said he would soon float his own political party and 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. Randhawa had accused the former chief minister of betraying Punjab and siding with those who never thought about the welfare of the state.

Randhawa returned to Twitter to reply to Singh’s counter-attack, saying it was Captain himself who failed to take action in the sacrilege and drug abuse cases. The deputy CM also questioned why the probe into Alam’s alleged ISI links had him “perturbed”.

“By the way,sir @capt_amarinder why are you so perturbed over probe on Aroosa and ISI links? Who sponsored her visa and everything concerning her will be thoroughly probed. I do hope everyone concerned will co-operate with police in probe,” he said.

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