The Congress vs Congress fight in Punjab, between the Amarinder Singh faction and the Navjot Singh Sidhu faction, has reached a new level with the life of MLAs at stake. Jalandhar Cantt MLA Pargat Singh has alleged that he was threatened by Capt Sandeep Sandhu, political secretary to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for raising the sacrilege case.
According to Pargat Singh, a close aide of Sidhu, he received a message from the political secretary of CM Amarinder Singh to be ready for police action for raising voice against the CM. “Being a former captain of the Indian hockey team, I was shocked on receiving such a threatening message. But if speaking truth on sacrilege and police firing cases was not acceptable to them, let them do whatever they want,’’ the MLA told the media at a press conference.
In the last few months, Sidhu has rallied many state leaders against Amarinder Singh, the highly popular CM of the state, and has made remarks against him on several issues, especially for not bringing the guilty to justice in the Bargari Sacrilege case.
Now, the leaders on the side of Sidhu are trying to use this to score political points and take on Amarinder Singh. “Pargat S being threatened by advisors of CM for doing his duty to the people & raising his voice is extremely distressing.I stand with him & his democratic right to speak about issues affecting Punjab.This continuous attempt to browbeat INC MLAs for raising their voice must stop,” tweeted Partap Singh Bajwa, Congress Rajya Sabha member from Punjab and former chairman of Pradesh Congress.
Pargat S being threatened by advisors of CM for doing his duty to the people & raising his voice is extremely distressing.I stand with him & his democratic right to speak about issues affecting Punjab.This continuous attempt to browbeat INC MLAs for raising their voice must stop.
— Partap Singh Bajwa (@Partap_Sbajwa) May 17, 2021
On the other hand, Amarinder Singh, who is known for combative politics and does not like dissenters, openly challenged Sidhu to contest against him in the 2022 assembly election from Patiala, his stronghold. “I don’t know where he will go or which party he will join. Akali Dal is upset with him and BJP won’t accept him… so most likely AAP. If he wants to contest against me from Patiala he will meet the same fate as General JJ Singh, who lost his security deposits,” CM Amarinder Singh said in an interview to a private channel.
Navjot Singh Sidhu has been trying his level best to counter the influence of Captain Amarinder within the Punjab Congress and has got many senior leaders on his side. He recently met Cooperation and Jails Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa and Technical Education, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Charanjit Channi to plan out the further pathway to mount pressure on the Chief Minister of the state regarding the Bargari sacrilege case and the subsequent police firing cases of Kotkapura and to initiate a clampdown on the alleged drug mafia. MLAs Partap Singh Bajwa’s brother Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa, along with Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon, Balwinder Laddi and Barindermeet Singh Pahra were also said to be present during the meeting.
The Congress infighting might lead to Sidhu leaving the Congress party and joining a rival party in order to challenge Captain Amarinder Singh and the most viable option might be the Aam Aadmi Party for the Congress leader as he is trying to cut the influence of the sitting Chief Minister. And one thing is sure that Sidhu might not leave alone. He will take his side of ministers with him giving Congress a huge blow in the state of Punjab.