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Punjab Dep. CM, ex-CM engage in mudslinging over Aroosa Alam

Punjab Dep. CM, ex-CM engage in mudslinging over Aroosa Alam

Chandigarh: A Twitter battle went high and bitter between Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh over Pakistani journalist Aroosa Alam.

The heated exchange of tweets followed a tweet by Randhawa who demanded a probe into Captain's Pakistani journalist friend's link with the ISI, a report in The Indian Express read.

On Thursday at Jalandhar, the media had asked Randhawa whether Aroosa was an ISI agent, for which he replied that he would ask the Director-General of Police to look into the relations Aroosa has with ISI. He also said he would ask the police to probe on Pakistan drones crossing Indian borders during Amarinder's time as CM.

He tweeted in Punjabi, and deleted later, that orders had been issued to probe Aroosa's alleged connections with Pakistani spy agency ISI.

Amarinder bitterly responded on Friday that while Randhawa was his cabinet colleague, he had never complained about Aroosa. Amarinder's media adviser had posted a photo of Sonia Gandhi shaking hands with Aroosa and tweeted that Aroosa had been coming to India for 16 years with the Indian government's clearances. He asked whether Randhawa is alleging that both NDA and UPA governments during these years connived with ISI.

Amarinder alleged that instead of focussing on law and order as terror threat stays high as festival season around the corner, state administration put police on a baseless investigation at the cost of people's safety.

He accused Randhawa of resorting to personal attacks and questioned the administration about its promises on Bargari and drugs cases.

However, Randhawa told reporters late in Friday evening that "no one talked about an inquiry", but in Jalandhar, he was responding to a "general" question. He further said that it was Amarinder's "fear of mind". As a former CM, Amarinder should know that it was Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and not the state government that conducted queries on foreign nationals.

But Randhawa deleted four of his tweets, one of which asked why Amarinder is perturbed about the probe on Aroosa. Everything concerning Aroosa, including who sponsored her visa, will be thoroughly probed, the tweet had said.

For this, Amarinder retorted that Randhawa seemed confused and anxious, as his "flip flops" indicates. He said that he had sponsored Aroosa's visa for 16 years, and requests were sent by the Indian High Commission to the Ministry of External Affairs. RAW and IB must have cleared it before approving, the tweet said. Amarinder also sought a detailed inquiry conducted in 2007 by the NSA on the orders of the PM before granting Aroosa visa.

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