With just two days to go for voting in the Lok Sabha polls in the state, knives are out in Punjab Congress. A few hours after Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu supported his wife Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu’s claim that CM was responsible for denying party ticket to her, the CM denied the allegation but indicated that she was not a fit candidate.
Categorically denying any role in denial of ticket to Dr Sidhu, Amarinder said: “Had I been asked, I would have frankly told the high command that Pawan Bansal, the chosen candidate of the party, was a better choice.” He said that Chandigarh was not under Punjab and he had no role in selection of the city candidate, adding that Dr Kaur had turned down an offer to contest from Amritsar.
Earlier, asserting that his wife will never tell a lie, Punjab Local Bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had on Thursday backed Dr Sidhu’s remarks that Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and party general secretary in-charge Asha Kumari ensured that she was denied Lok Sabha seat from Amritsar.
Responding to a question relating to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh terming Dr Sidhu’s accusations as “nonsense”, Sidhu said, “Meri gharwali mein itna dam hai aur itni moral authority hai ki vo kabhi jhooth nahi bolegi…
(My wife is strong enough and has the enough moral authority that she would never tell a lie). This is my answer.”
On Thursday, Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu had told new agency ANI: “I was denied ticket after our CM sa’ab and Asha ji had specifically said that I can’t win from Amritsar. If I’m working for party, at least don’t have such small heart & brain that when you can see the larger picture that country needs to be saved from Modi…” She had levelled the same allegation on May 14.
Amarinder responded to Sidhus’ comments on the sidelines of a poll meeting he addressed for his wife and Congress candidate from Patiala, Preneet Kaur.
About Dr Sidhu, he elaborated that she had been offered ticket from Amritsar and Bathinda, but she refused the same. He added that tickets were given out by Congress high command in Delhi, and they had chosen not to accept Dr Navjot Kaur’s application for ticket to contest from Chandigarh MLAs have been made responsible for the Congress party’s performance in the state, and he shared the responsibility with them, Amarinder said.
“If Congress is wiped out in Punjab in these polls, what do you think I will do? Obviously, I will accept responsibility and resign,” he said.
The tension between the cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and the CM had been simmering for a while. Amarinder Singh had spoken out against Sidhu hugging Pakistan army chief during his visit to the neighbouring country. Last year in Hyderabad, Sidhu had said that “Rahul Gandhi is my captain.Rahul Gandhi is the captain of captain (Amarinder Singh) also”.