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Posted at: May 22, 2019, 7:08 AM; last updated: May 22, 2019, 7:08 AM (IST)

Congmen turn heat on Sidhu

Call for strict action, say he is to blame if party fails in ‘Mission 13’

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21

Senior Congress leaders today sought to shift blame on Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu if the party fails to accomplish its “Mission 13”.

Stepping pressure on the party’s star campaigner, senior vice-president of the PPCC and 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’ jibe against the Chief Minister on the last day of the campaign.”

A close confidant of the Chief Minister, Lal Singh, said, “Rallies by party president Rahul Gandhi and roadshows by the party’s general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had built up the momentum in favour of the party. But Sidhu’s remark might harm the party’s prospects. Sidhu has been with the Congress for 27 months, but he is yet to learn the party’s culture of discipline.”

Amid rumours of Sidhu today proceeding to Delhi to meet party president Rahul Gandhi, his confidants said he would be in Delhi on May 23, the day of counting. They said he was on medication due to injury to his vocal cord.

Punjab affairs incharge and AICC general secretary Asha Kumari said she would seek a report from the PPCC president Sunil Jakhar on the issue of the face-off between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu over the latter's "friendly match" jibe after May 23.

“Any development on the issue will take place after May 23, as the top leadership is focused on pressing issue of party’s performance at the national level”, said a senior party leader.

Sunil Jakhar, PPCC chief, said though it was for the party high command to take a call in the issue, the more important issue at the moment for the party was to strengthen Congress president Rahul Gandhi to take on the Narendra Modi-led NDA.

Forest Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot asked Sidhu to resign from the state Cabinet if he could not work with Amarinder. Day before yesterday, three other ministers Brahm Mohindra, Tript Rajinder Bajwa and Sukhjinder Randhawa had taken on Sidhu for his jibe.

Food and Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu said the issue should have been raised at the right platform, instead of speaking on the last day of the campaign.

On the contrary, the baiters of the Chief Minister are waiting to see which way the results tilt, in favour of Capt Amarinder or against, as he had already stated that he would take responsibility and would quit if the Congress was wiped out in the state in these Lok Sabha elections. “There is no question of the party being wiped out. But winning how many seat by countering the Modi effect is a question,” a Congress leader said.

It was totally wrong and untimely to comment on the last day of campaigning. The act is unpardonable. If action can be taken against Zira MLA for indiscipline, Sidhu too should be taken to task. The onus is now on PPCC president Sunil Jakhar. Rana Gurjit Singh, Congress Kapurthala MLA

Sidhu should resign. He created an unwarranted controversy in Bathinda, where the party is engaged in a high-stake battle. He may have grievances against the party for not giving ticket to his wife. Even I was denied ticket from Ferozepur. But some protocol has to be followed. Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Sports Minister 

Sidhu will make a better CM: Cheema

Sangrur: Facing flak from his own party ministers and CM Capt Amarinder Singh, Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has got support from Leader of Opposition (LoP) Harpal Singh Cheema, who has praised Sidhu for exposing "friendly" match of Capt Amarinder Singh and Badals. "Sidhu can be a better Chief Minister than Capt Amarinder Singh. Sidhu has guts to speak truth and he is speaking truth. But Capt Amarinder has a coterie of corrupt persons, who have hijacked him and getting their works done. Earlier, sand and land mafia was controlled by SAD leader, but now Congress leaders are protecting them and if anyone challenges corrupt leaders, he faces opposition like Sidhu," said Cheema here while talking to The Tribune. TNS

His statements irresponsible: Arora

Hoshiarpur: Industries Minister Sunder Sham Arora on Tuesday said, "Navjot Singh Sidhu is a Cabinet minister. He is equally responsible for all decisions taken by the Cabinet and if now, he does not agree with any of decisions, he should resign and leave the ministry." He said Sidhu had hurt the sentiments of people of Punjab and the Congressmen. Arora said, "The decisions taken by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh regarding law and order in the state are commendable. The SIT is probing the sacrilege and police firing cases. The party leadership should take strict action against Sidhu for his untimely statements." OC

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