It is the people of Punjab who will decide who will be the Chief Minister and not the party high command, Navjot Singh Sidhu dropped this truth-bomb while answering mediapersons today.
The latest Sidhuism, a month before Punjab votes (On February 14), is likely to raise hackles in the Congress’s Punjab unit and among senior leaders.
“People of Punjab will decide who will be the Chief Minister. Who told you that the (Congress) high command will make the CM?” Navjot Singh Sidhu, state Congress chief, asked as a counter-question.
“Do not have a false implication in your mind. People of Punjab will choose MLAs and they alone will decide who will be the Chief Minister,” Mr Sidhu underlined.
— ANI (@ANI) January 11, 2022
The Sidhu bombshell comes days after senior party leader Sunil Jakhar said that the Congress won’t announce a Chief Minister face for the assembly elections. The party will contest the polls under a “joint leadership”, Mr Jakhar had said in the last week of December.
Mr Sidhu’s public utterances that are at variance with the party position are fast becoming a recurring event.
In an interview to NDTV on January 4, Mr Sidhu said it is up to the Congress leadership to decide on a chief ministerial candidate in Punjab, adding that he considered himself a soldier, doing his job and fighting on issues critical to the state, like its debt and fiscal deficit.
The outspoken Congress leader, in the same interview, also tackled a question on his unrelenting criticism of his own party government in Punjab, which has not spared even Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.
“His (Mr Channi’s) intention is good. But he needs to follow through with budgetary allocation, research and proper policy to salvage the state,” Mr Sidhu had said in the interview.
In recent weeks, Mr Sidhu has been heard questioning his government for not arresting Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia, who has been booked in a drug case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Mr Sidhu said he believed in being open about his critique as his intention was to lay the agenda for the Congress government.
On January 3, state deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa claimed that Navjot Sidhu is upset with him.
“Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu is upset with me ever since I became the Home Minister. If Sidhu wants the home ministry, then I will put it at his feet in a minute,” claimed Mr Randhawa.