While taking the fight of state’s farmers to Delhi, Punjab Congress was able to get Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on board the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, while Rajya Sabha MPs Partap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo remained conspicuous by their absence.
Bajwa told The Indian Express that he was indisposed and was not able to reach Delhi. He said he would accompany the Chief Minister when he meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi to raise the farmers’ voice.
While the party got support from LIP chief Simarjeet Singh Bains, SAD (Democratic) leader Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Ekta Party leader Sukhpal Khaira for the dharna in Delhi, its own Rajya Sabha MPs staying away raised many eyebrows.
To a question as to whether Bajwa and Dullo were invited, a senior leader asked, “Was there any wedding that he should have been invited? It was not just party’s programme on an issue of Punjab. He is so concerned about welfare of the state as to not minding going to the Governor to seek dismissal of own government.” The leader was referring to both the MPs going to meet the Governor on the issue of hooch tragedy.
In a veiled attack on Bajwa, PPCC chief Sunil Kumar Jakhar, who was not able to participate in the dharna as he was unwell, tweeted: “In not joining @capt_amarinder today in solidarity against the unjust and autocratic attitude of Central govt towards Punjab,@Akali_Dal & @AamAadmiParty have again displayed their zero commitment to Punjab and absolute lack of ideological moorings.”
In another tweet, he said, “My compliments to @simarjeet_bains @SukhpalKhaira @PSDhindsa1, who leaving aside their political differences with Cong party, have come forth in support of Punjab in its struggle to safeguard its interests from the step motherly treatment of Central govt.”
“The political outfits or individuals who have chosen not to join the symbolic dharna at Jantar Mantar today due to their shallow parochial politics or inflated ego and personal ambitions, will be seen by Punjabis as agents of @BJP4India, helping in its nefarious designs.”
SIDHU GRABS EYEBALLS
Sidhu reached Delhi with a few Congress MLAs, including Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Rajinder Beri, Avtar Henry Junior, Surjit Singh Dhiman and Kaka Lohgarh, something that evinced the interest of many in the Congress party. Warring, who had been launching a scathing attacks on the government after the hooch tragedy, was seen driving Sidhu to Delhi. Other MLAs were accompanying them. Some party leaders termed it a show of support by Sidhu, who acknowledged the presence of CM Amarinder Singh by naming him at the onset of his address. He also acknowledged Bains and Khaira after Amarinder setting off speculation as both the leaders have been inviting Sidhu to join them for the cause of Punjab.
In his speech, Sidhu said a “dhamaka” was required to wake Centre up as its recent farm laws were aimed at helping corporate. He said the Centre government had reduced the elected representatives, MLAs and MPs, to being useless.
He was earlier stopped at Delhi border by Delhi Police where he had an argument with the officers. He went on Facebook live and claimed that the police had to give in to allow him to go to Punjab Bhawan.
Sidhu is being seen with the government on the issue of farmers but only after he created a scene at Rahul Gandhi rally held in support of farmers. After that he attended the Vidhan Sabha session and appears to have “softened” towards the CM, said sources.
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