Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh lashed out at his predecessor, Parkash Singh Badal, on Wednesday for accusing him of sabotaging the Kartarpur Corridor.
Amarinder Singh said it was not him, but the Akali veteran who was trying to sabotage the interests of the Sikh community and Punjab with his "injudicious" statement made.
"Badal's statement is in line with his approach of exploiting religious issues to further his political interests," Amarinder said in a statement here, adding that the former chief minister was trying to mislead the state's people with baseless allegations.
The chief minister pointed out that it was the Congress leadership, from Indira Gandhi to Manmohan Singh, that had always striven for opening the corridor, and he had been raising the issue with Pakistan and the central government.
Amarinder Singh added that it was idiotic to suggest that he could try to block the corridor and sabotage the fulfilment of the aspirations of the Sikh community.
Badal had said Amarinder Singh's recent statements on the corridor were "extremely ill-advised and ill-timed" and that he was trying to sabotage it.
Amarinder Singh had on Sunday claimed that Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had broken the news of the opening of the corridor to state minister Navjot Singh Sidhu even before Imran Khan was sworn in as their prime minister, dubbing the whole affair a "bigger conspiracy" hatched by the ISI.
The chief minister said Wednesday he was proud of the fact that the Punjab government had worked closely with the Centre in successfully overcoming the strong security concerns and infrastructural challenges in opening up the Indo-Pak border in the face of the "huge dangers" posed by the Pakistan and its agencies.
"By choosing to close his eyes to the harsh and sad reality of the Pak threat, (P S) Badal has once again shown he was least concerned about the welfare of the people of Punjab and was only bothered about the political gains he could make from the opening of the Corridor, which his party had been trying to take undue credit for," he said.
While it was a dream for him to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, he could not turn a blind eye to the terror being perpetrated in his land by the ISI-backed forces, nor could he ignore the killings of innocent soldiers by the Pakistani army, the chief minister added.
The much-awaited corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur -- the final resting place of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak Dev -- with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district.