Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday sought freedom to take decisions, saying he had conveyed it to the ‘high command’ that if he is able to live up to people’s expectations, he could secure the party’s prosperity in the next 20 years and if he is not allowed to take decisions, then he shall smash it out as well.
Mr. Sidhu, who was addressing a gathering in Amritsar, said “I have always worked towards changing the life of people, and even today I’m working towards developing a Punjab model. I have told the high command that if I am able to live up to the expectations and hope of people surrounding the model, I assure you that I’ll not let Congress go and it will prosper for the next 20 years, but if you won ‘t let me take decisions, then I’ll [‘itt naal itt bi kharkaonga’] smash it out… there’s no point in becoming ‘darshni horse’ [showpiece]…”
Mr, Sidhu’s remark comes in the backdrop of him being asked by party’s senior leadership to sack his advisers, who recently made controversial statements surrounding Pakistan and Kashmir. One of them, Malwinder Singh Mali, on Friday announced that he is quitting the post. In a statement posted on his Facebook page, he said, “I humbly submit that I withdraw my consent given for tendering suggestions to Navjot Singh Sidhu.”
He added, “ …anti-Sikh forces which don’t tolerate the emerging Punjab model, issue-based and solution-based politics of transparency and accountability, that has dawned in the backdrop of the long-drawn peaceful ‘kisan andolan’ , have a nefarious design to derail the dialogue process that has started taking shape, and to push me into the struggle with tied hands, which is not acceptable to me. I humbly withdraw my consent given for tendering suggestions to Navjot Singh Sidhu”.
Amid the ongoing power tussle between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Mr. Sidhu, the former had taken strong exception to the remarks of the latter’s advisors on sensitive national issues like Kashmir and Pakistan. He had urged Mr. Sidhu to rein in the advisers – Pyare Lal Garg and Mr. Mali, stating that their ill-conceived comments were potentially dangerous to the peace and stability of the State and the country.