Congress sees Sidhu as hope to enable the party win Punjab poll

GS Paul

AMRITSAR: A day before the last date for filing nomination papers, former Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu today arrived in the city to a grand reception. Sporting a Congress scarf, Sidhu was received by his wife Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu and a large number of Congress workers and local residents at Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport from where he started a roadshow.

It took over six hours for the convoy to cover 13 km to reach the Golden Temple. The scenes were reminiscent of 2004 when he arrived in the city to begin his political innings as a Lok Sabha candidate on a BJP ticket. The people cheering for him this time belonged to the Congress. Another difference was that in 2004, he was honoured with a “siropa” by the SGPC, but today, he was not extended the honour for obvious reasons. Later, Sidhu also visited Durgiana Mandir.

Prominent Congress leaders present were LS bypoll candidate Gurjeet Singh Aujla, district urban chief Jugal Kishore, Amritsar West MLA Raj Kumar Verka, Lalli Majithia, Dinesh Bassi and Raj Kanwal.

Sidhu said he was a “born Congressman” who was coming back to his roots and would be ready to work under anyone appointed by the high command.

Attacking Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Badal, he said the Akali Dal was a pious movement, but was now reduced to a dynasty. “I am in ‘Guru ki Nagri’ to grab them from shoulder to say ‘saada haq aithe rakh’. This is the battle for Punjab and the aim is to win it for all Punjabis,” he said. About the BJP, he said: “They preferred alliance with the Akalis over me. Many BJP workers are feeling suffocated and are ready to join the Congress.”

He vowed to expose Sukhbir, alleging that he had sold Punjab. “If Punjab is my soul, Amritsar is my heart. I am here to tell people where the Akalis have sold Punjab,” he said.

Sidhu will file his nomination papers tomorrow. On January 19, PPCC president Capt Amarinder will join Sidhu in Amritsar to take out a roadshow.

(Courtesy: The Tribune)

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