Amarinder: Known ‘shifty’ Sidhu since he was a boy, he’ll join some other party

Dismissing speculation that he was in Delhi to meet senior BJP leaders, Amarinder said he had come to vacate the Kapurthala House for the new CM of Punjab

Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said Navjot Singh Sidhu’s resignation as PPCC chief within two months of taking over the post has proved he is an “unstable” man who can’t be relied upon to lead the ruling party, especially in a border state like Punjab.

Terming Sidhu’s resignation “sheer drama”, Amarinder, in a statement, said the move suggested that his former cabinet colleague was preparing the ground to quit the Congress and join some other party in the run-up to the state Assembly polls.

“I had been saying all along that this man is unstable and dangerous, and cannot be entrusted with the task of running Punjab,” said Amarinder, adding that Sidhu had proved to be absolutely incompetent during his stint as a minister in his government too.

Amarinder, who arrived in Delhi on a personal visit, told mediapersons at the airport that Punjab is a sensitive state, sharing a 600-km border with hostile Pakistan, and Sidhu’s close links with his cricketer-turned-PM 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 had once again exhibited his “shifty” character. “I have known this boy since his childhood and he has been a loner and can never be a team player,” said Amarinder, 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 said what he says in public meetings or rallies may make people laugh, but it is all froth with no substance. “People do not vote for buffoonery,” Amarinder 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 said the PPCC chief apparently wanted to run the government by remote control. “What nonsense is this! Cabinet formation is the prerogative of the chief minister, so why should Sidhu interfere in it,” he said.

On Sidhu’s claim that he was quitting on matters of principle, Amarinder said, “What principles is he talking about? He’s only making grounds to quit the Congress. You wait and see, he will join hands with some other party very soon.”

Replying to a question, the former CM 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 said, “He (Jakhar) is very competent and had performed exceeding well as the party chief.”

Dismissing speculation that he was in Delhi to meet senior BJP leaders, the former Chief Minister said he had come on a personal visit, with the main intent of vacating the Kapurthala House for the new chief minister of Punjab.

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