CHANDIGARH: Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said Navjot Sidhu’s resignation as PPCC chief within two months of taking over the vital post had proved beyond doubt that the cricketer turned politician was an “unstable” man, who could not be relied upon to lead the ruling party, especially in a border state like Punjab.
Amarinder, who arrived in Delhi on a personal visit, told newsmen at the airport that the Congress high command should immediately accept Sidhu’s resignation and appoint some competent man in his place.
Terming Sidhu’s resignation as “sheer drama”, Amarinder said the move suggested that his former cabinet colleague was preparing the ground to quit the Congress and join hands with some other party in the run-up to the state Assembly polls.
“I told you so … he is not a stable man and not fit for the border state of Punjab,” tweeted Amarinder Singh. Sidhu had also proved to be absolutely incompetent during his stint as a minister in his government, he added.
“Punjab is a sensitive state, sharing over 600km border with Pakistan, and Sidhu’s close links with his cricketer friend Imran Khan and ISI chief Qamar Javed Bajwa is a serious threat to India’s national security,” the former CM said.
He said that by resigning within two months of taking over as the PPCC chief, Sidhu had once again exhibited his “shifty” character. “I’ve know this boy since his childhood and he has been a loner and can never be a team player,” said Captain Amarinder, recalling how the cricketer had deserted the Indian team in 1996 in England. “That’s what his real character is”, said the former chief minister.
Describing Sidhu as a “flamboyant” speaker, Captain 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”, he said, adding that no one takes him (Sidhu) seriously.
Replying to a question on reports of Sidhu being upset with the inclusion of certain ministers in the Charanjit Singh Channi cabinet, Amarinder Singh said that the PPCC chief wanted to run the government by remote control. “What nonsense is this? Cabinet formation is the prerogative of the chief minister and why should Sidhu interfere?,” he quipped.
On Sidhu’s claim that he was quitting as the party chief on matters of principle, Amarinder said, “What are these principles that he is talking about? He’s only preparing ground to quit the Congress. Wait and watch, he will soon join hands with some other party.”
When asked if he would back former PPCC chief, Sunil Jakhar, for the job, Amarinder said, “He (Jakhar) is competent and had performed exceedingly well as the party chief”.
Scotching speculation that he was in Delhi to meet senior BJP leaders, Amarinder said he was in Delhi on a personal visit, with the main intent of vacating the Kapurthala House for the new chief minister of Punjab.