Congress leader and political advisor to party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, Vibhakar Shastri, on Tuesday said that “outsiders” should not be given important positions in the party so soon, PTI reported. Shastri’s comments came after Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as the party’s Punjab chief.
Sidhu had defected to Congress in 2017, after being in the Bharatiya Janata Party from 2004.
“The party should give a cooling off period of at least five years to those leaders who have come from other parties so that they can work for the organisation and know the ideology,” Shastri said. “No person should be more than a particular party and ideology.”
A few other Congress leaders have also called out Sidhu for quitting as the Punjab Congress chief within two months of his appointment.
Senior Punjab Congress leader Sunil Jakhar said that Sidhu’s resignation from the post has breached the party’s trust. Jakhar was removed as the Punjab Congress chief in July to make way for Sidhu.
“What stands compromised in this entire ‘episode’ is the faith reposed in the [outgoing ?] PCC President by the Congress Leadership,” he said in a tweet. “No amount of grand standing can justify this breach of trust placing his benefactors in a peculiar predicament.”
Congress leader from Delhi, Alka Lamba, also took a swipe at Sidhu. “Now let him do a full time comedy,” she tweeted. “His time is over in Politics. Enough.”
Opposition parties have also criticised Sidhu.
Shiromani Akali Dal Chief Sukhbir Singh Badal called Sidhu a “misguided missile” with no direction, according to ANI.
“He first destroyed Captain Amarinder Singh by becoming Punjab Congress president,” Badal said. “Then, wiped out his party. Even I had warned about the kind of person Sidhu is. Every kid in Punjab knows that. He is an egoistic man.”
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Tarun Chugh said that Sidhu resigned as he was unable to bear the fact that a member of the Schedule Caste community – Charanjit Singh Channi – was appointed the chief minister of Punjab, ANI reported. Channi took oath on September 20.
“Navjot Singh Sidhu is hungry for the post of chief minister,” Chugh said. “He is not able to bear that a person from the SC community has become a chief minister.”
Unidentified officials had said that Sidhu was upset about the Cabinet changes made on Sunday. Fifteen MLAs were inducted into Channi’s Cabinet, but Sidhu was reportedly ignored when the Cabinet ministers were chosen.
Sidhu’s resignation marks the latest turn of events in the political crisis within the Punjab unit of Congress. Party leader Amarinder Singh had stepped down as chief minister of the state on September 18 following differences with Sidhu.
Singh had also immediately castigated Sidhu for resigning. “I told you so…he is not a stable man and not fit for the border state of Punjab,” he said in a tweet.