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Punjab: After scathing attack on govt, Sidhu remains mute spectator in Assembly

Sidhu, who has been allotted a seat in the second last row in the Assembly hall, watched the proceedings of the session, stepping out of the hall a couple of times. But he was not seen exchanging pleasantries with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in the hall.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh |
March 4, 2021 8:38:39 am
After scathing attack on govt, Sidhu remains mute spectator in AssemblyMLA Navjot Singh Sidhu outside Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

A day after former Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s attack on Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s government, Sidhu was not among the ruling party’s speakers to defend the government during the debate on the Governor’s address in Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday.

The vociferous speaker, who has been attending the session for the last three days, was not the party’s choice that had selected MLAs, including Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Tarsem Singh DC, Navtej Cheema, Dr Raj Kumar Chhabewal and Kushaldeep Singh Kiki, who filled in for Harpartap Singh Ajnala.

Sidhu, who has been allotted a seat in the second last row in the Assembly hall, watched the proceedings of the session, stepping out of the hall a couple of times. But he was not seen exchanging pleasantries with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in the hall. He mostly stuck to his seat and interacted with whoever walked up to his seat. He was seen chatting with his aide and Olympian-turned-MLA Pargat Singh.

Pargat was also not among the speakers in Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday. The Governor’s address will be concluded by the Chief Minister on Friday.

Sidhu, who had attended the last Vidhan Sabha session convened to reject the Centre’s farm laws, was the second speaker after the CM. He had seconded the resolution moved by the CM. It was believed that the high command had intervened to get Amarinder to let him speak in the Vidhan Sabha.

The cricketer-turned-politician has often been ignored in Punjab before speaking. He was not allowed to speak at a party rally at Bargari and was ignored. Later, party general secretary incharge Harish Rawat had got him to speak at former AICC chief Rahul Gandhi’s rally against farm laws in Punjab. His appearance was not without controversy when he had blasted Cabinet Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa
on the stage, who had requested him to be brief.

It remains to be seen whether Sidhu will be allowed to speak on the budget or he would just be a mute spectator. He has already spoken his mind out in the budget on his YouTube channel by stating that the state’s debt servicing was more than the collections this fiscal. He had said the money was going into private pockets through frontmen.

A party speokesperson said that this time they wanted to give an opportunity to younger MLAs to hone up their skills. Even vociferous
leader Amrinder Singh Bajwa Warring was not the party’s choice. He was not seen attending the day’s proceedings.

Another party leader said, “with what Sidhu has done on his YouTube channel, do you think he can be made the speaker? He will only end up embarassing the party”.

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