In his first response after resigning as the Punjab Congress president, Navjot Sidhu affirmed that he is ready to make any sacrifice for the people. Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, the former swashbuckling batsman stressed that he has no personal rivalry with anyone. He stressed, "17 years of my political career has been for a purpose, to make difference, to take a stand and to make people's lives better. This is my only religion". Maintaining that positions never mattered for him, Sidhu made it clear that he will never compromise on his values.
Hinting that he would not take back his resignation, he alleged that those who gave a clean chit to the Badals are being given positions. This was seen as an indirect reference to the appointment of Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota and Amar Preet Singh Deol as the DGP and Advocate General respectively. Pertinently, Deol had appeared for former Deputy General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini and other accused in the sacrilege cases in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Navjot Singh Sidhu remarked, "I can neither mislead the high command nor let it be misguided. I am ready to sacrifice anything to fight for justice and to improve the lives of people of Punjab. I don't need to think for this."
Earlier, sources revealed that Congress is mulling appointing either Kuljeet Singh Nagra or Ravneet Singh Bittu as the party's next Punjab president after being fed up with Sidhu's attitude. Reportedly, the party high command has thrown its weight behind Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi and put on hold AICC state in-charge Harish Rawat's plan to visit Chandigarh in a bid to placate Sidhu. While Kuljeet Singh Nagra is an MLA from Fatehgarh Sahib, Ravneet Singh Bittu represents the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency.
हक़-सच की लड़ाई आखिरी दम तक लड़ता रहूंगा … pic.twitter.com/LWnBF8JQxu— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) September 29, 2021
In a big blow to the Gandhis a day earlier, Sidhu announced his resignation on Twitter citing that "the collapse of a man's character stems from the compromise corner". While maintaining that he can never compromise on Punjab's future and the agenda for the welfare of the state, the former swashbuckling cricketer affirmed that he will continue working for the Congress party. Responding to this development, former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh reiterated that Sidhu is not a stable man and unfit to handle the sensitive border state of Punjab.
According to sources, one of the main reasons for Sidhu's resignation was the induction of Rana Gurjeet Singh in the Punjab Cabinet. The Kapurthala legislator had been dropped from the Cabinet in 2018 over his alleged involvement in a "mining scandal", 6 MLAs alleged in a letter sent to the Punjab Congress president opposing a Cabinet berth for him. Moreover, the ex-cricketer was believed to be miffed with the allocation of the Home Department to Deputy CM Sukhjinder Randhawa whom he opposed as the CM face.
The perception of the Sidhu camp being sidelined was strengthened by the fact that only Pargat Singh got the portfolio of his choice. While the Punjab Congress chief was not included in the discussion on Cabinet expansion, his predecessor Sunil Jakhar was reportedly taken into confidence by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Additionally, sources suggest that Sidhu was unable to exert control over Channi after Amarinder Singh criticised him for being a "super CM". Apart from this, he was reportedly unhappy for being ignored for the CM post despite playing a key role in Singh's ouster.