Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu has warned his own party of consequences if he is not given a free hand in decision making. Addressing an event organised by a traders’ body in Amritsar on Thursday night, Sidhu said that there was no use in being a decorated horse, adding that if he is given freedom to take decisions then he would ensure that Congress remains in power in Punjab for the next 20 years.
I have never made compromises. I stand where I was. I have said one thing to party high command that if we can meet the promises and hopes of people, I will ensue Congress rule in Punjab for next 20 years. Par je tusi manu nirne nai len deyonge tan main mai itt naal itt kharka du (But if you won’t allow me to take decisions then I will give a befitting reply) Because there is no use of becoming a decorated horse,” Sidhu said in his 25-minute speech. However, only two clips of total 13 minutes were uploaded on his Twitter handle.
The Congress, however, said state chiefs are free to take their decisions within the party’s ambit. Harish Rawat, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge of party affairs in Punjab, said if the state chiefs will not take decisions, who else will.
Asked about Sidhu’s remarks, Rawat told reporters here, “I will see the context in which Navjot Singh Sidhu has made these remarks. Mr Sidhu is the respected chief of the Punjab unit. Who will have the power to take decisions if not the state presidents.”
Sidhu didn’t make any reference to recent weapon recoveries by Punjab police. He, however, said: “My politics is about hope and faith. Their politics about creating fear among the people by creating rumours about recoveries from here and there. Punjab is bound by Punjabiyat. What traders want is peace.”
He later added: “We will not allow anyone to harm peace in Punjab…”
He also indirectly targeted Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal’s claim that Punjab’s coffers are empty. Without any reference to Manpreet, Sidhu said, “Punjab model is not telling you that the treasury of Punjab is empty. It is telling you how to fill the treasure.”
Advocating opening of the border with Pakistan, Sidhu said, “I advocate the opening of border. Amritsar was biggest market of Asia. It can again become the same. Even today we can trade with 26 countries but no one made the effort. Industry can stand up on its feet if there would be proper policy for it. That policy won’t be in the hands of officers but traders will form it.”
He added, “No state can function in without industry. There is need of single window system. I am saying this as PPCC president that the electricity that you are getting for Rs 9 per unit, you will get it for nearly Rs 3. It will be possible on the day faulty contracts with power companies will be cancelled.”
With PTI inputs