From accusing a ‘system’ run by two families of ignoring Punjab’s welfare for their own business interests to stating that he isn’t a showpiece to be shelved after a good show in the elections, former Punjab minister and television commentator Navjot Singh Sidhu’s recent interviews to multiple news outlets show how the Amritsar-based leader continues to remain disgruntled with the state leadership.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Sidhu said that his fight against the system – which allegedly said ‘no’ to all his welfare ideas – had begun from the first Cabinet meeting itself.
Without naming the families or individuals behind the ‘system’, Sidhu accused the unnamed ensemble of “belittling the legislature” promoting their own “vested and selfish” business collusions.
He also claimed that election strategist and I-PAC boss Prashant Kishore had approached him over 50 times between 2016 to 2017, with requests to join the Congress, which he admittedly joined, after much coaxing.
“I was told you have to join, else the government will not get formed. We will not get more than 40 seats. I told him that I have an agenda, boss. The welfare of the people of Punjab is the only priority. Politics was not a profession for me,” Sidhu said.
System Said ‘No’ To Everything, Alleges Sidhu
Sidhu told The Indian Express that his suggestions on a new liquor policy that could bring in cash revenue to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore were denied in the first Cabinet meeting.
He also claimed that he had raised the issue of higher taxes for non-AC buses as opposed to lower taxes for AC Volvo buses run by the Badals, but the ‘system said no’.
Hitting out at the system, Sindhu said that the powerful group had stalled projects worth Rs 150 crore in Amritsar, so that “Sidhu does not get the credit”.
Sidhu told Hindustan Times that he had demanded that action be take against Bikram Singh Majithia over the state’s drug menace, but the system said “it had not read the report”.
He also alleged that multiple attempts were made by the system to send him away to Delhi, when they realised that Sidhu wasn’t listening to them. It is these issues that Sidhu brought forward before the three-member committee appointed by AICC President Sonia Gandhi to look into the Congress feud.
Speaking to the formation of an SIT to look into the 2015 desecration of Guru Granth Sahib, Sidhu said that the team was formed as the chair was endangered ahead of elections in the state.
"“What was the need for SIT? You weakened the evidence. You look at the deliberate mechanism. Even Kumbhkaran got up in six months. We reduced Akalis to the lowest ever number of seats, and broke Panthic votes. Should we have acted on this issue in the first six months when we came to power or the last six months when your chair is in danger? It is not about SIT, it is about intent. Why are you protecting them?”" - Sidhu, as quoted by The Indian Express.
He also criticised the government for handing-out jobs to children of lawmakers in the state, saying that power was reaching only the privileged class and not the last man in the queue.
‘Loyal Soldier of the Party’
Claiming that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh “lies everyday”, Sidhu accused the Captain of spreading misinformation about the latter’s meeting with the Aam Aadmi Party.
“He said things about my meetings (with AAP). Has he proved it? What nonsense is he talking about? Talk about issues. Why is he showing his back to issues such beadbi, loan waiver, and white paper? What have you done about drugs? Give your report card,” Sidhu told Hindustan Times.
When asked about the chances of the Congress in Punjab, Sidhu said, “I am a loyal soldier of the party. I will fight.”
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