"Rakhi Sawant Of Punjab Politics": Raghav Chadha's Swipe At Navjot Sidhu

New Delhi:

The AAP's Raghav Chadha lashed out at Punjab Congress chief Navjot Sidhu today - whom he called "the Rakhi Sawant" of the state's politics - over his criticism of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his government's "masquerade" over the centre's controversial farm laws.

Mr Chadha's swipe - denounced by some on Twitter as being sexist - came after Mr Sidhu posted a video message mocking Mr Kejriwal over "exploitation of farmers" and his government's notification (in December last year) of the law that allows farmers to sell produce outside mandis.

"The Rakhi Sawant of Punjab politics - Navjot Singh Sidhu - has received a scolding from (the) Congress high command for non-stop rant against Capt. (Chief Minister Amarinder Singh) ... therefore today, for a change, he went after Arvind Kejriwal," Raghav Chadha tweeted.

"Wait till tomorrow for he shall resume his diatribe against Capt. with vehemence," he said.

A few hours earlier Mr Sidhu had tweeted a video statement in which he attacked Mr Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party (in power in Delhi) over its stance on the farm laws.

"Exploitation of farmers and decreasing prices even on crops where MSP is announced - Arvind Kejriwalji... you notified the Private Mandi's central black law! Has it been denotified or is the masquerade is still going on?" he asked, tagging the AAP's primary and Punjab handles.

Mr Sidhu's attack on Mr Kejriwal comes a day after he trained his guns at Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal, accusing him, his party and his family of laying the groundwork for the farm laws.

In December last year Mr Kejriwal and his government drew heavy criticism after notifying one of the centre's three laws and saying that the other two were "under examination".

The AAP said the notification allowed farmers to sell crops at markets of their choice; agricultural produce sales were de-regulated in Delhi years ago and this holds for food grains too, it argued.

Political rivals, however, were quick to claim double standards as the party and Mr Kejriwal had openly supported the farmers in their protests; one of the key fears voiced by the farmers has been that these laws will, effectively, dismantle the mandi, or wholesale, markets.

The notification of the law also triggered a war of words with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who accused Mr Kejriwal and the AAP of having "no shame". The AAP had hit back by declaring Mr Singh had colluded with the BJP to spread lies and defame Mr Kejriwal.

The AAP and the Congress (and the BJP) are set to go head-to-head in Punjab next year in an Assembly election that is almost certainly set to revolve around the protests over the farm laws.