Capt. Amrinder Singh set to tame Sidhu
Capt. Amrinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu is not a contestant in 2019 General Elections but time is ticking for his political survival within the Congress fold once the dust settles down on Thursday evening.
Chief Minister Capt. Amrinder Singh, the face of Congress in Punjab, hasn’t minced his words in declaring that Sidhu’s indiscipline wouldn’t be tolerated.
“If Sidhu wants to challenge me and my job, he should take it up with the high command. It is for them to decide on any action against Sidhu but the Congress, as a party, does not tolerate any indiscipline.
“Sidhu has damaged the party with his ill-timed comments against me and party leadership,”said Capt. Amrinder Singh.
The flashpoint has been various cuts which Sidhu has delivered on Capt. Amrinder Singh, the latest being on the last day of elections in Bathinda last Sunday. Sidhu, who is a minister in Capt. Amrinder Singh’s cabinet, embarrassed his leader by questioning why no FIR was lodged against Badals in the case of desecration of religious scriptures in 2015. He termed the present elections as a “friendly match with the Badals (Akalis).”
Punjab affairs in-charge and AICC general secretary Asha Kumari said she would seek a report from the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Sunil Jakhar on the issue, who on his part has promised to take up the matter after results are announced this evening.
A few other cabinet ministers--Brahm Mohindra, Sukhjinder Randhawa and Tript Rajinder Bajwa—have also hit out at Sidhu. Chairman of the election management committee Lal Singh said: “Sidhu will be responsible if the party misses the target of winning all the 13 seats due to his ill-timed ‘friendly match’ comment.” Punjab Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot has asked Navjot Singh Sidhu to resign from the state cabinet if he cannot work with Capt Amarinder Singh
This is not the first provocation on the part of Sidhu against his leader, Capt. Amrinder Singh. The chief minister in the past has disapproved Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan during the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan and hugging the Pakistan army chief, General Bajwa. That in the frame was also a known Sikh extremist Gopal Singh didn’t help the matter. The last straw was Sidhu’s wife, Navjot Kaur Sidhu blaming Capt. Amrinder Singh for not providing her with a Lok Sabha ticket.
The curious underlining in this constant simmering of tension within the Punjab Congress fold is the apparent freedom which Congress has afforded Navjot Singh Sidhu to lash out at his state leader. This when Capt. Amrinder Singh is the reason Congress exists in Punjab.
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