Amid farmers’ protests over Centre’s farm bills, former Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu too has come forward to back farmers’ cause. Sidhu, who has been staying out of public gaze, returned to twitter after almost a year to share his views on the matter in three tweets in Punjabi and Hindi. His comments come amid reports that the AICC is exploring options for his return to the Punjab Cabinet.
In his tweet, Sidhu, who was last seen on twitter on July 21 last year, said: “Farmer is the soul of Punjab, the wounds of the body can heal but an attack on our spirit, our existence will not be tolerated. The war trumpet says Inqilab Zindabad…Punjab, Punjabiyat and every Punjabi is with the farmers.”
In another tweet in Hindi, he took a swipe at the BJP-led government and said, “Sarkarein tamaan umar yehi bhool karti hain, dhool unke chehre pe thi, aaina saaf karti hain (Governments keep committing the same mistake, the dust was on its face, but it kept cleaning the mirror).”
Sidhu has been incommunicado ever since he resigned from the state Cabinet last year. The Amritsar East MLA, who was at loggerheads with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, was stripped off key portfolios in a Cabinet reshuffle in June last year.
The former Cabinet minister had not broken his silence even when 23 Congress leaders had written a controversial letter to AICC interim president Sonia Gandhi. He had been keeping quiet even as his wife Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu had been meeting workers of Congress from across the state fuelling speculation that Sidhus’ were trying to garner support from grassroots workers and leaders of the party.
His reaction holds significance as the Congress is riding a high wave after the resignation of SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal from the Union Cabinet. Amarinder and PPCC president Sunil Jakhar have been bashing the Akalis as well as Centre on the issue. Also, after Harsimrat’s resignation, there were conjectures that Sidhu was warming up to the BJP that was trying to come to power on its own in the state. But with his coming out openly against farm bills, Sidhu has put a stop to the speculation.
All eyes are now on Sidhu as the state Congress has got a new general secretary incharge in Harish Rawat. Several MLAs, party leaders and workers are looking at Sidhu as to what role he would be given in the party. Rawat has already indicated that he would try to bridge differences between warring party leaders. He has already heard out Rajya Sabha MPs Partap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo on why they were upset with Congress government in the state for them to open a front against it.
There have been reports of several youth Congress leaders also meeting Sidhu in the past and several party MLAs also watching Sidhu keenly about his next step.
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