Former cricketer and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu addresses a press conference, at his residence in Patiala, Sunday, June 20 (PTI)
PATIALA: Former Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu made it clear on Sunday that he was not after any post either in the party or in the state government and said he had full faith in the Congress high command. However, Sidhu, who has been critical of chief minister Amarinder Singh, said he cannot be used as a "showpiece" to win elections.
Refusing to name Amarinder during an interview with at his residence here, Sidhu said he was ready to support the government without getting any post if his "real agenda of people" was implemented.
"I say, 'You fulfil the agenda; I will support you without a post'. You may even appoint me to the zila parishad. But if you do not fulfil people's aspirations, no post will matter to me."
The cricketer-turned-politician sounded bitter over being used only for getting votes.
Sidhu said, “They want to use me in the election campaign and then put the showpiece back into the closet. Why would I work under such a system? I’d rather work independently, wherever the high command wants me to. Am I a ‘darshani ghoda’ (exhibition horse) or a showpiece?”
To a question over the possibility of him becoming deputy CM or PCC chief, Sidhu said: “How? When he (Amarinder) doesn’t allow you to work (independently). I told you all the ‘Nos’ that I got (for my proposals).”
Explaining the reason for his silence following his resignation over a change of portfolio in July 2019, Sidhu said: “My portfolio was changed because of my speech demanding justice for sacrilege in Bathinda. The system put the ‘minister of power and renewable energy’ plate outside my office. I said, ‘No.’ I said I will reject the system that has rejected all my welfare proposals. I went home, meditated and contemplated. Punjab doesn’t need a Gujarat or Delhi model, but a Punjab model inspired by Guru Nanak.”
“I was contemplating, meditating, working hard. Everything is on paper with me. I will take the agenda to the people. If you implement it, I will work 24x7 with you, without asking for anything in return. Otherwise, I will do it.” Sidhu revealed he has been in touch with the party high command. “They are supreme and wonderful people. I have full faith in them.”
Training his guns on the CM, he said: “One man has taken the party for a ride. Who takes decisions as the home minister and then shifts the blame?” Sidhu said Amarinder’s decision to give jobs to sons of two MLAs was against the spirit of the Constitution. “My son gave up the assistant advocate general’s post and my wife didn’t accept the position of the Warehousing Corporation chairperson.” Reacting to the CM’s statement that his doors are closed for Sidhu, he said: “Who’s he to close the doors?”
Hinting that he was facing some health issues, Sidhu said: “My stay in Patiala is in a house that my father built at exactly my age. Is it a crime if I am spending time here to fight an illness? I do not want to trouble people about my personal problems.”