Chandigarh, May 12, 2021 (Yes Punjab News)
Protesting strongly against the party MLA’s unwarranted belligerence against Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, more Punjab cabinet ministers on Wednesday joined the chorus of Punjab Congress leaders seeking strong disciplinary action by the party high command against Navjot Sidhu.
Sidhu’s provocative and targeted attacks on Captain Amarinder over the past several days were an invitation for disaster for the Congress, said Balbir Sidhu, Vijay Inder Singla, Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Gurpreet Singh Kangar, not ruling out a collusion between Sidhu and state opposition parties, such as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
It was quite possible, they said, that Sidhu’s targeted attacks on the Chief Minister were instigated by the AAP or BJP leaders to create problems in the Punjab Congress to further their electoral agenda in the state. “This manner in which Sidhu had launched the offensive against the state government, particularly Captain Amarinder, suggested a conspiracy against the Chief Minister,” they added.
In a hard-hitting joint statement, two days after three of their colleagues had also launched a counter-offensive against Sidhu, these four ministers said the Congress MLA’s verbal assaults on Captain Amarinder on sacrilege and other issues amounted to open rebellion against the party.
Terming Sidhu’s blatant defiance as an act of total indiscipline, the ministers said such anti-party activities cannot be tolerated by any political establishment, and more so in a state headed for elections. “He should be immediately suspended, if not expelled, as his continued presence in Punjab Congress was creating a mess in the party’s state unit and diverting its attention from the more important task of gearing up for the polls,” they added.
Pointing to Sidhu’s track record of controversial statements, the ministers said the ex-cricketer evidently seemed, as usual, to be batting for himself, and was totally lacking in team spirit – a trait that he had exposed in the political arena more than once. His habit of biting the hand that feeds him had made him a persona non grata earlier in his former party, they added, calling for stern action against the MLA.
“He is nothing but a trouble-maker whose contribution to the Congress and the state government in Punjab in all these years has been virtually nil,” the ministers said, questioning the rationale behind allowing him to continue in the Congress at a time when the party was preparing for the next Assembly elections in Punjab and the state government was battling an unprecedented Covid crisis.
Citing Captain Amarinder’s open challenge to Sidhu to contest against him from Patiala instead of raving and ranting against him publicly, the ministers said the MLA should quit the Congress and pit his self-proclaimed might against that of the Chief Minister if he really believed in his own political prowess. Attacking the Chief Minister on social media can hardly be termed as an endorsement of his political clout or popularity, they quipped.