Punjab Minister Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa on Saturday came down heavily on state Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu over his “Captain” remark and said if the cricketer-turned-politician did not consider Chief Minister Amarinder Singh as the “captain of Punjab, then it is his moral duty to resign”.
In a letter to Sidhu, which was also released to the media on Saturday, Bajwa said, “I have seen your video clip, in which you are seen saying that Rahul Gandhi is your captain, and Captain Amrinder Singh is a father figure to you, again and again. It is a fact that Rahul Gandhi is the Captain of all Congressmen in the country, including Captain Amrinder Singh, but at the same time Captain Amrinder Singh is undisputed leader of Punjab Congressmen.”
Sidhu had said in Hyderabad on Friday that “his Captain was Rahul Gandhi”.
Bajwa, who is the Punjab Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat, said Sidhu’s “posture and body language are very hurting and disgusting, while the tone signals humiliation of Capt Amarinder Singh. If you do not consider Captain Amrinder Singh as your leader… you have no moral right to continue as a member of his Cabinet….”
Talking to the media later in Jalandhar, Bajwa categorically denied seeking Sidhu’s resignation.
“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 said.
State Cabinet Minister, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi also demanded Sidhu’s resignation. Sarkaria said Amarinder is the Captain of Punjab Congress and the way Sidhu had “mocked” him was condemnable.
On Saturday, Sidhu said his statement was distorted by the media. He said he had referred to Amarinder as his “boss” and “father figure”. He rubbished media reports that he had indicated that Rahul had sent him to Pakistan. In a tweet, he said: “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.”