Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday said that he was a born Congressman and he has now “come back to his roots”. “I am a born Congressman. This is my ghar wapsi,” India Today reported him as saying. The cricketer-turned-politician said that his father had served the Congress for over 40 years. His comments came a day after he joined the party officially following a meeting with party vice president Rahul Gandhi.

Sidhu was addressing a press conference on Monday after he was welcomed to the party by senior leader Ajay Maken in Delhi. Commenting on his prior tiff with Congress’ Punjab chief ministerial candidate Amarinder Singh, he said, “If two nations can resolve issues sitting across table, then why can’t two individuals,” ANI reported.

Highlighting the drug problem existing in the country, the newly-inducted Congress leader said, “Navjot Singh Sidhu’s fight is for the redemption of Punjab. I can’t see the youth dying slowly,” according to NDTV.

Taking on the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, Sidhu alleged that a government by the people had now become a government by the family. He added that he is ready to contest from whichever constituency Congress will field him from.

Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal said, ”Congratulations to Sidhu saab who calls it gharwapasi to go to a party that wrecked a genocide on the Sikh community.” Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia alleged that in the past Sidhu had used derogatory language while speaking about former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. “It is difficult to take anything what Navjot Sidhu says seriously,” Majithia added. Commenting on Sidhu joining Congress, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said, “These are all migratory birds, people here know who has worked for them.”

Sidhu and his wife had both resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party on September 14. Calling it a dictatorship, Navjot Kaur Sidhu had alleged that the party did not let her work on the problems her constituency was facing. The Congress is hoping to cash in on Sidhu’s popularity and mass appeal and be a strong competitor against the Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party.