Amritsar/Bathinda, May 14, 2019-
Hours after his wife claimed that he won’t campaign for the Congress in Punjab, Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu shared the stage with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday threatening a “knockout punch” to the Badals.
Congress star campaigner Sidhu will not campaign for his party in his home state as the Chief Minister has told him not to, his wife and former MLA Navjot Kaur said.
Sidhu later clarified at an election rally in Bathinda amidst the presence of Priyanka Gandhi and Amarinder Singh that he was returning to Punjab on May 17 to deliver a “knockout punch” to the Badals.
Amidst reports that the Minister’s health was not allowing him to campaign, his wife also blamed the party’s Punjab in-charge Asha Kumari for not allowing Sidhu to campaign in Punjab.
“Captain Saab is our smaller captain and Rahul Gandhi is our bigger captain and he has given duty to him (Sidhu) in other states and Navjot is busy campaigning there,” she told reporters in Amritsar city.
“When Captain Saab and Asha Kumari have taken the lead role in ensuring victory of the party in all (13) seats, then what is the need for Navjot (Sidhu) to campaign in Punjab?”
The cricketer-turned-politician on Tuesday headed to Bihar to address a rally for Shatrughan Sinha, the party’s Patna Sahib candidate.
Navjot Kaur, a former BJP legislator from Amritsar (East), also blamed the Chief Minister for denying her a Lok Sabha ticket either from Chandigarh or Amritsar.
Crowd-puller Sidhu was conspicuously absent from Rahul Gandhi’s two election rallies in Punjab on Monday.
On Tuesday he made a brief speech at the Priyanka Gandhi rally in Bathinda: “Here comes Sidhu on May 17, ‘bhag’ (run) Badal bhag’.”
He said he would hold 10 rallies on May 17 if Congress candidate Amrinder Singh Raja Warring asked him to do so.
Legislator Warring is pitted against Shriomani Akali Dal’s outgoing MP and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, daughter-in-law of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
A statement issued by Sidhu’s office on Monday said: “Continuously speaking has severely impacted his vocal cords to the extent that they bled at times.”
Punjab goes to the polls in the final phase on May 19 for its 13 Lok Sabha seats.