CHANDIGARH: Reiterating that the ex-cricketer would be joining the party soon, Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday made it clear that Navjot Singh Sidhu’s decision to join the Congress was unconditional, with no strings attached, and asserted that any decision on having a deputy chief minister in the State would be taken by the AICC president and vice-president at the appropriate time.
During the rejoining of former Congress leader Darbari Lal, Capt Amarinder said Sidhu would be the party’s candidate for Amritsar East, as announced by his wife. The delay in his joining, said Amarinder, was on account of his professional commitments, which he wanted to conclude before getting into the election gear.
On Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia’s projection of Arvind Kejriwal as the Punjab chief ministerial candidate, Amarinder said the Delhi chief minister’s game plan had been completely exposed and it was clear that he wanted to become the chief minister of Punjab without even contesting the polls. The people of Punjab will never hand over the reins of the State to a Haryanvi who could not be trusted to protect their interests, said the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief.
Rejecting Akali and AAP criticism of the Congress manifesto for the Punjab Assembly polls, Amarinder said they could not be expected to appreciate the document. The manifesto, which had the stamp of approval of a world-renowned economist like Dr Manmohan Singh, had been prepared by former Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal and former state deputy chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and was a perfect document, he added.
He, once again declared his avowed intention of punishing the people involved in drug trade in the State within four weeks of coming to power. “Lamba pa dayan ge sab nunh,” he promised, making it clear that he would not allow any laxity in the matter.
Responding to a question, Amarinder reiterated his commitment to end the VVIP culture in the State, which he said was the need of the hour. With cops working on VIP duty, there was serious shortage of constables in the districts, which in turn led to them working 12-18 hours in a day, said the PPCC president, adding that police welfare would be high on the party’s agenda, as promised in its manifesto.