New Delhi/Chandigarh: Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Tuesday that Navjot Singh Sidhu’s resignation as Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief within two months of taking over the vital post has proved beyond doubt that the cricketer-turned-politician is an “unstable” man, who could not be relied upon to lead the ruling party, especially in a border state like Punjab.
Terming Sidhu’s resignation as sheer drama, Amarinder Singh said the move suggests that his former Cabinet colleague is preparing theground to quit the Congress and join hands with some other party in the run-up to the Assembly polls scheduled next year.
“I have been saying all along that this man is unstable and dangerous, and cannot be entrusted with the task of running Punjab,” said Amarinder Singh, adding that Sidhu had also proved to be absolutely incompetent during his stint as a minister in his government.
Amarinder Singh, who arrived in Delhi on a personal visit on Tuesday, told mediapersons at the airport that Punjab is a sensitive state, sharing over 600 km of border with Pakistan, and Sidhu’s close links with his cricketer friend, Imran Khan, and ISI chief, Qamar Javed Bajwa, are a serious threat to India’s national security.
He said that by resigning within two months of taking over as the PPCC chief, Sidhu has once again exhibited his “shifty” character. “I’ve known this boy since his childhood and he has been a loner and can never be a team player,” said Amarinder Singh, recalling how the cricketer had deserted the Indian team in 1996 in England.
“That’s what his real character is,” said the former Chief Minister. Describing Sidhu as a “flamboyant” speaker, Amarinder Singh said what he speaks in public meetings or rallies may make people laugh but it’s all froth, with no substance.
“People don’t vote for buffoonery,” he said, adding that no one takes him (Sidhu) seriously. Replying to a question that Sidhu was apparently upset with the inclusion of certain ministers in Charanjit Singh Channi’s Cabinet, Amarinder Singh said that the PPCC chief apparently wanted to run the government by remote control.
“Cabinet formation is the prerogative of the Chief Minister, so why should Sidhu interfere in it,” he asked. On Sidhu’s claim that he was quitting as the party chief on matters of principle, Amarinder Singh said, “What principles is he talking about? He’s only making grounds to quit the Congress. You just wait and see, he will join hands with some other party very soon.”
Replying to a question, the former Chief Minister said that the Congress high command should immediately accept Sidhu’s resignation and appoint some competent man in his place.
When asked if he would back former PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar for the job, Amarinder Singh said, “He (Jakhar) is very competent and had performed exceeding well as the party chief.”
Scotching speculation that he is in Delhi to meet senior BJP leaders, Amarinder Singh said he had come on a personal visit, with the main intent of vacating the Kapurthala House for the new Chief Minister of Punjab.