Punjab minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday alleged that he was being singled out for the poor performance of his party in the Lok Sabha elections, reported ANI. The Congress won eight out of 13 parliamentary seats in Punjab, while overall it bagged only 52 seats.
Sidhu has been at receiving end of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s criticism after the Lok Sabha poll results. Singh said Sidhu’s “damaging remarks” might have led to the party’s defeat in the Bathinda seat. Without naming Singh, Sidhu had alleged a nexus between senior Congress leaders and the Badals of the Shiromani Akali Dal. Singh also said that Sidhu’s performance should be reviewed.
Sidhu said he had never heard that in a government only one person is accused of poor performance. “But if a finger has been raised, then he [Chief Minister Amarinder Singh] is the ‘Maa-badaulat’ [the royal way of addressing self in third person]. I cannot say anything,” he said.
Chief Minister Singh had also accused Sidhu of not being able to handle his department properly and that Congress had put up a below average performance in urban areas because of this.
“Instead of collective responsibility, out of 50 departments only my department has been commented upon,” said Sidhu, according to The Indian Express. Sidhu, who is the state local bodies minister, alleged that there were a few people who did not want him in the party. He claimed that his ministry had worked in the most transparent manner. “The department has been able to generate Rs 6,000 crore and all its projects are being completed on a war-footing,” he said, according to The Hindu.
Regarding the party’s defeat in Bathinda, Sidhu said the party had never won the seat in the past 40 years. “Captain saab also fought and lost from Lambi by 25,000 votes,” he pointed out. “His son Raninder lost in Bathinda by 1.20 lakh votes. Now Sidhu is responsible.”
Asked if he was expecting a change in portfolio, Sidhu said the chief minister will decide that. “He is the elder one,” said Sidhu. “I will also decide and take a decision too. It is up to him. If I have made any mistake, I am ready to accept it 100 times. I have explained the working of my department to people of Punjab. At present this is all I want to say.”