A day after calling Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann a “puppet”, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday called Mann an “honest man” and that he considers him his younger brother. Sidhu said he will support Mann, whose Aam Aadmi Party trounced the Congress in the recent assembly polls, if he fights the mafia.
“I consider him my younger brother. He is an honest man. I have never raised a finger at him. If he fights against it (mafia), my support is with him; I will rise above party lines because it is a fight for Punjab’s existence,” Sidhu told reporters at the sidelines of an event where Amrinder Singh Raja Warring took charge as the state Congress president. Sidhu had resigned from the same post after the party’s defeat in the Punjab elections.
In a tweet later, he said, The Congress will have to reinvent to come back to power. “Honest faces with moral authority and integrity will be the propellers. We are fighting a battle of existence for this great state… It’s either the Mafia or Honest people,” he tweeted.
This came a day after Sidhu’s swipe at Mann, in which he shared a cartoon of the Chief Minister riding in the front of a scooter, named “Punjab govt” and operated AAP chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
“Punjab’s CM should be ‘ankhila’ (a self-respecting man) who could not be pulled by strings,” Sidhu added. “Someone is playing the game but someone else is dancing and speaking. The person who is playing the game while sitting in Delhi is the masquerader and he is getting unmasked,” said Sidhu in an apparent dig at AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal. The former Punjab Congress chief said the law and order situation in the state has “deteriorated drastically” under the Mann government.
He claimed 40 people have been killed in the state in the last month. Sidhu alleged the Punjab government is using the police force to target those who raise their voice against Kejriwal. “You are politicising the police force to use it for your own interests,” he said attacking the AAP government.
“Whether it is ‘badlav’ (change) or ‘badla’ (vendetta)… vendetta politics has started,” he said. Sidhu’s remarks came a day after the Punjab Police visited the homes of former AAP leader Kumar Vishwas and Congress’ Alka Lamba in connection with a case registered over “inflammatory statements” against Kejriwal.
Both leaders have been summoned for questioning on April 26. Targeting the Aam Aadmi Party, Sidhu accused it of “selling lies” to people in order to grab power in Punjab.