Friday, May 24, 2019

"Want Sidhu Out": Amarinder Singh's Wishlist For Congress After Punjab Win

Navjot Sidhu had accused the Chief Minister of being responsible for the denial of ticket to his wife Navjot Kaur from Chandigarh. 'Want Sidhu Out': Amarinder Singh's Wishlist For Congress After Punjab Win Tensions between Amarinder Singh, Navjot Sidhu worsened over distribution of ticket (File)



NEW DELHI: A day after its traumatic defeat to the BJP, the Congress has been called upon to firefight in Punjab. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh -- who delivered the party's only decisive victory in a state -- has contacted the senior leadership of the party, seeking a green signal for Navjot Singh Sidhu's removal from government, sources said.

The Congress has won eight of Punjab's 13 Lok Sabha seats yesterday. Amarinder Singh, however, said the party could have done better  in the urban areas of the state, especially Bathinda, is not for Navjot Sidhu's remarks on Pakistan and the ongoing investigation into the Guru Granth Sahib desecration.


"While everyone has the right to promote themselves in a democracy, it was wrong of him to make controversial comments once the battle had started," he has said.
The tension between the Chief Minister and Mr Sidhu, which has been brewing for long, worsened over the distribution of ticket -- which was also at the bottom of his rift with the BJP.
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This time, Mr Sidhu had accused the Chief Minister of being responsible for the denial of ticket to his wife Navjot Kaur from Chandigarh. He even went off work for more than 20 days without giving any explanation.
During the campaign, he had targeted the Chief Minister, questioning why no criminal case was registered against former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal over the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and the police-firing incidents of 2015.
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"If he was a real Congressman, he should have chosen a better time to air his grievances instead of just ahead of voting in Punjab," the Chief Minister had said during an informal interaction with reporters.
While the final decision was with the Congress's Central leadership, the party "does not tolerate indiscipline," the Chief Minster had hinted.
The two leaders have been at odds since the cricketer-turned-politician ditched the BJP and joined the Congress ahead of the 2017 assembly election in the state. But after the party's victory, Mr Sidhu, who had been keen on a deputy Chief Minister's post, had to contend with a ministerial berth.
Since then, he had embarrassed his party and his boss by a series of controversial moves and comments, including the much criticised hug for Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and defence of cricketing buddy Imran Khan, who is now the Prime Minister of Pakistan.--ndtv



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