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INTERVIEW | ED raids, allegations against Channi are nothing but political vendetta: Sidhu

Says party with a clear roadmap for Punjab will get the mandate

Published: 28th January 2022 03:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2022 09:34 AM   |  A+A-

Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and CM Charanjit Singh Channi (File Photo| Parveen Negi, EPS)

By Express News Service

The ED raids and allegations against Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi of involvement in illegal sand mining have come after the announcement of Assembly elections and are nothing but political vendetta, Congress state president Navjot Singh Sidhu told Harpreet Bajwa in an interview. Excerpts:

What are the chances of Congress returning to power? How many seats do you give to your party?

The Congress will win at least 70 seats in the 117-member Assembly in the coming elections if a clear agenda for the state is incorporated in the manifesto. There is an election on every seat and when we fight 117 elections, there are challenges on each seat.

As of now, it seems no political party will be able to get a clear mandate.

Just wait for ten days. The people of the state will give a clear mandate to the party which gives a clear roadmap. They will not waste their votes on spent cartridges like Captain Amarinder Singh and others.

What are your comments on ED raids in connection with sand mining at various places, including CM Channi’s nephew’s premises?

The ED took action after nearly four years of the registration of the case. Were they sleeping for four years? When the assembly elections were announced, then the raids were conducted.

CM Channi is alleged to be involved in sand mining, but there is no condemnation from your side. Are you giving a clean chit to him by questioning the timing of the ED raids?

I am not giving any clean chit. Let the law take its course. If you can prove a link, then I will be the first one to criticise. But if you are indulging in political vendetta, then I am not with you. I know the ED, the CBI and other agencies have been used politically…Today it is clear that it is political vendetta.

Your opponents say you are terming ED raids as vendetta but justifying the case registered against SAD leader Bikramjit Singh Majithia under NDPS Act. The SAD is accusing you of political vendetta.

It is absolutely trash. It is a 2018 case. The ED had started the investigations against Majithia… The ED and Special task Force reports were submitted in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Amarinder Singh was protecting him.

You have been asking the party to declare a CM face. Do you think you should be named CM candidate?

I am not here for any post. My only aspiration is to implement the ‘Punjab model’. If a roadmap to resurrect Punjab is there, I am there. Yes, if a post allows me to take decisions and the high command empowers me, I will do justice to that post, be it a minister, PPCC chief or anything. 

There has been infighting in your party. How will you control it?

Which party doesn’t have infighting? AAP leaders are also fighting among themselves.

Many of your party leaders including a few ministers have objected to your style of functioning.

With my style of functioning, I became the PPCC president and before that a Member of Parliament several times.

The BJP tried to change the narrative of these elections by raring the issue of PM security lapse.

What narrative! There were 700 people and 70,000 empty chairs. People understand everything.

Is the Punjab model you are advocating is yours or that of the party? Will it see the light of the day?

I will meet Congress leader and manifesto committee chairman Partap Singh Bajwa regarding the poll manifesto and it will be released in the coming days.



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