Chandigarh/Amritsar: The rift between Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh and his cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu is out in the open again. After it was reported that Navjot Singh Sidhu will be keeping away from campaigning for a while after suffering damage to his vocal cords, his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu has taken up the reins and upped the ante against the chief minister.
With barely a week left for the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab, Navjot Kaur Sidhu, former state health minister, has claimed that it was Amarinder Singh and Punjab Congress affairs in-charge, Asha Kumari, who ensured she does not get a ticket from Amritsar.
“Captain saab and Asha Kumari think madam Sidhu doesn’t deserve a single ticket. My ticket from Amritsar was cut on the pretext that after the Amritsar train accident, I can’t win from here. Captain Saab and Asha Kumari said it,” she said in Amritsar.
Indicating that Navjot Singh won’t be campaigning for the Congress in Punjab, she said, “Captain saab is our ‘chota’ (small) captain, while Rahul Gandhi is our ‘vadda’ (big) captain. When he has already said that he is winning all 13 seats, what is the need of campaigning for him?”
“There is no point doing anything for those who think we aren’t capable enough,” she added.
Taking another dig at Asha Kumari and Amarinder Singh, Sidhu said, “Captain saab is our senior leader, our captain. Asha Kumari is a star campaigner. They will do it (campaigning). Sidhu will campaign where Rahul ji has deployed him”.
Interestingly, Navjot Kaur had earlier stated that she and her husband had reused a ticket from Amristar when the party offered it to them. She had made the statement after Congress fielded Pawan Kumar Bansal from Chandigarh. Navjot Kaur was also vying for a ticket from the same city.
“I never wanted to contest from Amritsar. I had categorically said no to it. Amritsar is a big constituency and with my husband busy with poll campaigning across the country, it would have been difficult for me here,” she had said then.
Navjot Kaur’s name was previously doing the rounds for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat but the Congress re-nominated sitting MP Gurjit Singh Aujla instead.
This is not the first time Amrinder Singh has been accused by the Congress leader of keeping him away from poll rallies. On May 7, Navjot Sidhu had said that neither Amarinder Singh nor the state Congress president, Sunil Kumar Jakhar, asked him to campaign for the 13 party leaders contesting the elections.
“Neither Captain Sahib, nor the PPCC chief or (party’s Punjab affairs in-charge in-charge) Asha Kumari have called me to campaign (in Punjab),” the 55-year-old cricketer-turned politician had said.
Punjab goes to the polls in the last phase on May 19 for its 13 Lok Sabha seats.