Navjot Sidhu is troubled by me since then…: Punjab Home Minister

The Punjab Congress had gone through a major churning earlier this year (File)

New Delhi: There is a new spark in the Punjab Congress, with the state’s deputy chief minister claiming that state Congress chief Navjot Sidhu is angry with him. Public discord between state Congress leaders, with Navjot Sidhu playing the lead role, is fast becoming a recurring phenomenon.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said, “Ever since I became the Home Minister, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu is angry with me. If Sidhu wants the Home Ministry, I will lay it at his feet in a minute. Give.” News agency ANI today, however, it is not clear what prompted the remarks.

Earlier it was widely reported that Mr Sidhu was upset with his rival Mr Randhawa being handed over the crucial Home Ministry. He had also strongly opposed any talk of making Mr. Randhawa the Chief Minister after the resignation of Amarinder Singh.

The Punjab Congress had gone through a major churning earlier this year when Amarinder Singh was forced to step down as chief minister following an open rebellion by party leaders. Then the state got its first Dalit Chief Minister in the form of Charanjit Singh Channi.

Mr. Sidhu, who led the attack on Mr. Singh during the Punjab Congress crisis, has also been taking a dig at the Channi-led government from time to time. His public swipe has brought his party to the spot.

On Mr Sidhu’s latest demand that his party be declared the chief ministerial candidate, senior party leader Sunil Jakhar, who is also the chairman of Punjab Congress’s campaign committee, said that the Congress would announce the chief minister’s face for the upcoming state assembly elections. Won’t do The party will contest the elections under “joint leadership”, Mr Jakhar said.

Last week, Navjot Sidhu, in another controversy, filed a defamation case against MLA Navtej Singh Cheema for bragging “a policeman can wet his pants”. This forced Chief Minister Charanjit Channi to intervene. Mr Channi urged the police not to be disturbed by the remarks, and assured them that the criminals had, in fact, wet their pants upon seeing them.

“Those who are criminals and anti-social elements… a Punjab police officer gets his pants wet,” the chief minister said at a function in the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) premises.

Clarifying his remarks, Mr Sidhu indicated that the remarks should not be taken literally. He said it was a way of saying that Congress “has the rights”.

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