CHANDIGARH: Indicating an announcement soon by Navjot Singh Sidhu on his role in the Congress, the party’s Punjab president Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said the decision on whether or not to contest the Amritsar Lok Sabha bypoll had been left to the ex-cricketer.
After welcoming into the party fold four new joinees, including two SAD MLAs, Amarinder said he had met Sidhu and got the impression that he was interested in campaigning for the Congress in the Assembly polls, but the final call was the latter’s.
Before returning to Mumbai, Sidhu had met Amarinder in Delhi and discussed his plans. He is likely to join the Congress any time now depending on his preference.
Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal MLAs Rajinder Kaur Bhagike and Mahesh Inder Singh along with SAD leader Pritam Singh Kotbhai and social activist Ajay Sharma joined the Congress in New Delhi.
Kotbhai had lost narrowly to the Congress candidate in the last election. Expressing their disillusionment and anger with the SAD leadership, the MLAs said they had always been loyal to the party but could not allow themselves to be slaves to the Badals. They said they had been not only deprived of tickets to contest the Assembly polls but also threatened and terrorised.
Responding to questions, Amarinder said while the decision on ticket allocation was the prerogative of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he would be happy to campaign for Navjot Kaur Sidhu if she got the ticket from the Amritsar East Assembly seat. The former chief minister also said nominees for all the 117 seats would be announced after December 8, when the next meeting of the Congress Election Committee is scheduled.
Replying to a question on the chargesheet filed by the Income Tax department against him, Amarinder said there was no substance in the foreign assets case.
The issue of his alleged foreign assets was first raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he fought 2014 Lok Sabha polls against BJP’s Arun Jaitley. Amarinder defeated Jaitley in the election.