Navjot Singh Sidhu, whose revolt threatens to damage the Congress ahead of the Punjab election next year, said today that he was “willing to work with Amarinder Singh” but added a condition.
“I am always ready to work with him if issues are resolved,” the former Punjab Minister said of the Chief Minister, who has been in his crosshairs for much of the past four years, especially since he quit the Punjab government in 2019.
Amarinder Singh has so far shown few signs of accommodating Mr Sidhu’s demands. Today, he had a second meeting with the Congress panel tasked with finding a solution to the infighting. Was Mr Singh aka “the Captain”, shutting the door on him?
“Who is he to close doors for Navjot Singh Sidhu? He lost three elections, he lost deposit and later Madam Sonia (Gandhi) makes him the party president. He threatened to split the party… “
Mr Sidhu, 57, said all 78 Congress MLAs in the 117-member state assembly support him.
He snapped at his critics in the Congress suggesting that his rebellion was weakening the party.
“Who says I am damaging the party? If you address the issues like sacrilege? Every MLA is raising this issue. All 78 MLAs are with me. If everything is ok then why did the party set up a three-member panel,” he questioned.
Amarinder Singh, he said, “is talking nonsense”.
“I am a true soldier of the party. He has been summoned twice to Delhi,” he said.
The cricketer-turned-politician asserted that he was not hankering for any post. “Prove that I have asked for any post in the last 17 years,” he said.
He hit out at the Chief Minister on a new controversy over his move to give government jobs to the sons of two Congress MLAs on “compassionate” grounds.
“You give jobs to elitist people, sons of MLAs…,” Mr Sidhu said.
Asked whether he was gearing up to do a Jyotiraditya Scindia or Jitin Prasada and leave the Congress for the BJP, Mr Sidhu said: “The high command are wonderful people. From Day One I have followed a pro-people agenda.”