Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday dropped a truth bomb asserting in his inimitable style that “it is the people of Punjab who will decide their Chief Minister and not the party high command.”
He was addressing a press conference at Chandigarh Press Club after launching the party’s digital campaign ‘Punjab Model’ that according to him would bring power back in the hands of people.
This cracker of a statement from Sidhu comes days after senior party leader Sunil Jakhar stated that the Congress won’t announce a chief ministerial face for the assembly elections. “The party will contest for the polls under a ‘joint leadership’ “, Jakhar stated last month.
Sidhu’s public utterances which are often at variance with the party’s conventional position are becoming a recurring event.
“People of Punjab will decide who will be the Chief Minister. Who told you that the (Congress) high command will make the CM?” said Navjot Singh Sidhu, Punjab Congress chief, when replying to a question.
“Do not have a false implication in your mind. People of Punjab will choose MLAs and they alone will decide who will be the Chief Minister,” Sidhu added.
The latest statement by Sidhu just a month before the Punjab elections (On February 14), is likely to raise the hackles of several leaders in the Congress’s Punjab unit.
Recently, the former cricketer was seen raising questions with his government for not arresting Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia, who had been booked in a drug case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Sidhu has maintained that he believes in being open about his critique as he intended to lay the agenda for the Congress government.
On January 3, state Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa claimed that Sidhu is upset with him. “Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu has been 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,” stated Randhawa.