Will fight tooth and nail if Sidhu is made CM, says Captain Amarinder

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Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh (Photo/ANI)
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh (Photo/ANI)

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], September 22 (ANI): Ahead of Assembly polls, former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said that if Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu is elevated to the post of Chief Minister, he would fight tooth and nail.

"I will fight the elevation of Sidhu to Punjab chief ministership tooth and nail and am ready to make any sacrifice to save the country from such a dangerous man," the Captain said.

Captain Amarinder said he will pit a strong candidate against the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president in the 2022 Assembly polls to ensure his defeat. "He (Sidhu) is dangerous for the state," said the Captain to reporters.

Asserting that he will only leave politics when he feels it is right, the former Chief Minister said, "I was ready to leave after a victory but never after a loss," he said.

He disclosed that he had offered his resignation to Sonia Gandhi three weeks earlier but she had asked him to continue. "If she had just called me and asked me to step down, I would have," he said, adding that "as a soldier, I know how to do my task."

He said he had even told Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi that he was ready to allow someone else to take over as the Chief Minister after leading the Congress to another sweeping win in Punjab.

"But that did not happen, so I will fight," he asserted, taking strong exception to being subjected to humiliation by calling a CLP in a secretive manner, without taking him into confidence. "I would not have taken MLAs on a flight to Goa or some place. That is not how I operate. I don't do gimmicks, and the Gandhi siblings know that is not my way," he said, adding, "Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi are like my children...this should not have ended like this. I am hurt." He said the Gandhi children were quite inexperienced and their advisors were misguiding them.

Ridiculing the way Punjab was being run from Delhi now, Captain Amarinder expressed shock at the way things were happening. Pointing out that as CM, he had called the shots and appointed his own ministers, as he knew the capability of each of them. He questioned how Congress leaders like Venugopal or Ajay Maken or Randeep Surjewala could decide who is good for which ministry. "Our religions teach us that all are equal. I don't look at people based on their caste, it's about their efficiency," he said, in an obvious reference to the caste considerations that had dictated the choice of the new leadership in the state.

Taking a dig at Sidhu's ostensible interference in Charanjit Singh Channi's domain, the former Chief Minister said the PPCC should just take decisions on party affairs.

"Earlier I had a good PPCC president. I took his advice but he never told me how to run the government," he said, adding that Sidhu was virtually dictating terms with Channi simply nodding along.

He termed it a sad situation for Punjab that Sidhu, who could not handle his own ministry, should be managing the cabinet. "If Sidhu behaves as the super CM, the party won't function," he said, adding that under this "drama master's leadership", it would be a big thing if the Congress managed to touch double digits in Punjab polls.

While Channi was intelligent and well educated, he, unfortunately, had no experience in managing home affairs, which was critical for Punjab that shares 600 kilometres of border with Pakistan, said Captain Amarinder.

"The amount of weapons and ammunition that come into Punjab from Pakistan is alarming," he said, while slamming Sidhu for his close personal relations with Pakistan's leadership.

On the new CM's announcement of waiver of power bills, he said Channi must have discussed it with the former Finance Minister and they must have thought of something. "I hope they don't make the state bankrupt," he added. (ANI)

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