Navjot Singh Sidhu preparing ground to leave, Sonia should accept resignation: Capt Amarinder Singh

'Once again exhibits his shifty character, cannot be entrusted with the task of running Punjab'

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 28

Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said Navjot Singh Sidhu’s resignation as Punjab Congress chief within two months of assuming charge was “sheer drama” and a signal that he was gearing to leave the party for someplace else.

“The resignation has proved beyond doubt that the cricketer-turned-politician is an unstable man who cannot be relied upon to lead the ruling party especially in a border state like Punjab. His resignation is sheer drama. The move suggests that Sidhu is preparing the ground to quit the Congress and join hands with someone other party in the run-up to the state assembly polls,” said Capt after arriving in New Delhi on a “personal visit” this evening.

The former Punjab CM, who resigned recently vowing to never let Sidhu become CM, mentioned that he had been saying all along that Navjot Sidhu was “unstable and dangerous”.

“He cannot be entrusted with the task of running Punjab,” Captain said adding that Sidhu had also proved to be absolutely incompetent during his stint as a minister in his government.

Speaking to reporters at New Delhi airport, Amarinder Singh said Punjab was a sensitive state sharing over 600 km of border with a hostile Pakistan and Sidhu’s close links with his cricketer friend Imran Khan and ISI chief Qamar Javed Bajwa were a serious threat to India’s national security.

“By resigning within two months of taking over as the state chief, Navjot had once again exhibited his shifty character. I’ve known this boy since his childhood and he has been a loner and can never be a team player,” said Amarinder,  recalling how the cricketer had deserted the Indian team in 1996 in England.

“That’s his real character”, Amarinder added, in subtle warnings to the Congress high command which has been backing Sidhu against the former chief minister.

Describing Sidhu as “a flamboyant speaker”, Amarinder Singh said what he speaks in public meetings or rallies may make people laugh but “it’s all froth, with no substance”.

People don’t vote for buffoonery, said Capt adding that no one takes Sidhu seriously.

Replying to a question that Sidhu was upset over the inclusion of some ministers in the Charanjit Singh Channi’s cabinet, Singh said “PPCC chief apparently wanted to run the government by remote control.”

“What nonsense is this? Cabinet formation is the prerogative of the chief minister. Why should Sidhu interfere?” asked Capt.

Reacting to Sidhu’s remarks that he had quit on principle, Amarinder said, “What principles is he talking about. He’s only making grounds to quit the Congress. You wait and see, he will join hands with some other party very soon”. 

Replying to a question, the former minister said that Congress high command should immediately accept Sidhu’s resignation and appoint some competent man in his place. When asked if he would back former PPCC chief, Sunil Jakhar, for the job, Amarinder said, “he (Jakhar) is very competent and had performed exceeding well as the party chief”.

Scotching speculation that he was in Delhi to meet senior BJP leaders, the former Chief Minister said he had come on a personal visit, with the main intent of vacating the Kapurthala House for the new chief minister of Punjab.

Tribune Shorts

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