There is fresh sparking in the Punjab Congress with the state deputy Chief Minister claiming that Navjot Sidhu, the state Congress chief, is upset with him. The public bickering among the state Congress leaders, with Navjot Sidhu playing a starring role, is fast becoming a recurring event.
“Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu is upset with me ever since I became the Home Minister. If Sidhu wants the home ministry, then I will put it at his feet in a minute,” Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa told news agency ANI today. However, it is not clear what provoked the comment.
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu is upset with me ever since I become the home minister. If Sidhu wants the home ministry, then I will put it at his feet in a minute: Punjab Deputy CM & Home Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa pic.twitter.com/qpJ8ypP32o
— ANI (@ANI) January 3, 2022
It was widely reported earlier that Mr Sidhu was upset about the key Home Ministry being assigned to Mr Randhawa, his rival. He had also strongly opposed any talk of elevating Mr Randhawa as Chief Minister following Amarinder Singh’s resignation.
Punjab Congress had gone through a big churn earlier this year after an open rebellion by party leaders forced the unceremonious removal of Amarinder Singh from the post of the Chief Minister. The state then got its first Dalit Chief Minister in Charanjit Singh Channi.
Mr Sidhu, who led the attack on Mr Singh during the Punjab Congress crisis, has also been taking swipes at the Channi-led government from time to time. His public swipes have been putting his own party in the spot.
To Mr Sidhu’s latest demand that his party declare a chief minister candidate, senior party leader Sunil Jakhar, also Chairman of the campaign committee of Punjab Congress, said the Congress won’t announce a Chief Minister face for the upcoming state assembly elections. The party will contest under a “joint leadership”, Mr Jakhar added.
Last week, Navjot Sidhu, in yet another controversy, was slapped with a defamation suit for bragging that MLA Navtej Singh Cheema could “make a policeman wet his pants”. This forced Chief Minister Charanjit Channi to intervene. Mr Channi urged the police to not bother with the comment, and assured them that it was, in fact, criminals who wet their pants on seeing them.
“Those who are criminals and anti-social elements… their pants become wet on seeing a Punjab police officer,” the Chief Minister said at a function at the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) complex.
Clarifying his remarks, Mr Sidhu indicated that the comment should not be taken literally. He said it was a way of saying the Congress “wields authority”.
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