A DAY after Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s “Captain” comment, Congress leaders criticised him and supported CM Amarinder Singh.
The Chief Minister’s aide and his Cabinet colleague Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa Saturday said that if Sidhu does not consider Amarinder as the “captain of Punjab, then it is his moral duty to resign.”
In a letter to Sidhu, Bajwa, who also released it to the media on Saturday, said, “I have seen your video clip, in which you are seen saying that Rahul Gandhi is your captain and Captain Amarinder Singh is a father figure to you, again and again. It is a fact that Rahul Gandhi is Captain of all Congressmen of the country, including Captain Amarinder Singh, but at the same time Captain Amarinder Singh is undisputed leader of Punjab Congressmen.”
The Punjab Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat wrote, “Your posture and body language are very hurting and disgusting, while the tone signals humiliation of Capt Amarinder Singh. If you do not consider Captain Amarinder Singh as your leader that I make out between the lines, you have no moral right to continue as a member of his Cabinet. Sidhu Sahib, you have very high dreams. It is my humble suggestion that you should talk less and this mantra will facilitate in the attainment of your ultimate political goal. Hyperbolic style during public talk might pose problems for your career. This is my humble suggestion, but it is up to you to act according to your own conscience.”
Later talking to the media in Jalandhar, Bajwa categorically denied seeking resignation of the Punjab Local Bodies Minister.
“Navjot Singh Sidhu is an extraordinary man not an ordinary person, and he should abstain from saying something in the night and changing his statement in the morning. He has long innings to play in his political career, so he should walk slow and remain compassionate,” said he.
Another cabinet minister, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, however, said he agreed with Bajwa’s demand for Sidhu’s resignation. He said Amarinder is the Captain of Pubjab Congress and the way Sidhu had mocked at him was condemnable.
Forest Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot also took the same line and said Sidhu should not have made these comments.
Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi also demanded Sidhu’s resignation on Saturday. He said if Sidhu wants to know who Captain is then he should call up anyone in Punjab and he will get the answer. “Sidhu has no right to be a part of the Cabinet if he does not consider Captain his leader,” he said.
Sidhu had created a controversy after his comments in Hyderabad that his Captain was Rahul Gandhi.
Meanwhile, Sidhu rubbished media reports that he had indicated that Rahul had sent him to Pakistan. He tweeted: “Get your facts right before you distort them, Rahul Gandhi Ji never asked me to go to Pakistan. The whole world knows I went on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s personal invite.” Sidhu added his statement was distorted by the media and he had referred to Amarinder as his “boss” and “father figure”.