Navjot Sidhu walks free after 317 days in jail, slams Centre and Punjab govt, lauds Rahul

"Whenever dictatorship came to this country, a revolution has also come. Today I say openly that the revolution is Rahul Gandhi," he said.
Navjot Singh Sidhu (File | PTI)
Navjot Singh Sidhu (File | PTI)

CHANDIGARH: After 317 days in prison, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu was released from the Patiala Central Jail on Saturday evening. Immediately after his release, he hit out at the BJP-led Union government and lauded the former Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

After coming out of jail, 59-year-old Sidhu said, "The government does not have the strength to listen to the truth. Whenever dictatorship came to this country, a revolution has also come. Today I say openly that the revolution is Rahul Gandhi and he will uproot this government. The workers of the Congress party are not ice blocks that will melt away. Today, democracy is trapped badly in tentacles. Democracy is in chains and institutions have turned slaves."

"The ancestors of Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi helped the country in getting freedom. Today, Rahul Gandhi is cutting the tentacles, he is roaring like a lion, and his voice is being curbed. When a lion roars, its roars are heard in America, Germany and all over the world," he said.

"Dictatorship in this country is bad. Ambedkar’s idea of a united India is being destroyed. Wherever the Hindutva idea doesn’t work and where there is minority community rule, the Centre indulges in divisive politics. First, it creates the problem of law and order and then shows that they have brought peace and everything is under control," he alleged.

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu emerging from the Patiala jail on Saturday | PTI
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu emerging from the Patiala jail on Saturday | PTI

"I also want to say to my younger brother Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann that there is no such thing as democracy right now. There is a conspiracy to impose the president’s rule in Punjab. Minorities are being targeted. If you try to weaken Punjab, you will become weak," he said.

He accused Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann of 'giving false hopes' to the people of Punjab. Lambasting Punjab CM Mann and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal over the promises they made during the assembly elections, he said, "I want to tell my younger brother Bhagwant Mann that you said so much before forming the government. You sold false dreams which turned out to be flops. One lakh jobs promised are yet to be given. I want to remind Bhagwant Mann about regularizing 36,000 professors, what happened to that promise? You are just a newspaper CM as you are only seen in newspaper advertisements. You used to ask the then CM Charanjit Singh Channi why the BSF is deployed in Punjab. Now I ask him (Mann) why BSF is standing 30 kilometres inside Punjab. Why is BSF deployed at so many places in the state," said Sidhu.

"Navjot Sidhu is not fighting for his own family. I am not afraid of anything or even death. Whatever I am doing is for the future generation of the country. My wife was suffering from cancer. I did not come out of jail to attend to her. I still say that there is no bigger thing than rashtra dharma," he said.

On being asked about the law and order situation in Punjab following the ongoing police hunt for Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh, the Congress leader said he will speak about the issue at the home of slain Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala.

The top brass of the Punjab Congress including state president Amarinder Raja Warring and Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa stayed away from receiving Sidhu from outside the jail amid unease in the senior leadership of the state unit of the grand old party.

Several other leaders including Amritsar MP Gurjit Aujla, former Punjab Congress chiefs Shamsher Singh Dullo, Mohinder Singh Kaypee and Lal Singh, former MLA Navtej Singh Cheema, Ashwani Sekhri, Sukhwinder Singh Danny were present. Sidhu while walking out of the jail received a warm welcome amid dhol beats and his fans chanting slogans 'Navjot Sidhu Zindabad'.

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