Opposition parties threw barbs on the ongoing political crisis in Punjab, while the Congress appeared to attempt and placate the situation on Monday after Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as the party chief in the state, sending a flurry of resignations from his camp after him.
In a press conference some minutes after Sidhu’s letter to Sonia Gandhi on not being able to “compromise” on the welfare of the state, recently inducted Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi said he would talk to the leader and solve his differences. Sidhu has quit over the induction of Gurjeet Singh Rana as a Minister in the Channi cabinet.
‘I Told You So’: Amarinder Singh
Capt Amarinder Singh, who recently quit as Punjab Chief Minister paving way for his replacement Channi, took the opportunity to reiterate his criticism on Sidhu, his “instability and incompetence” to run the state.
I told you so…he is not a stable man and not fit for the border state of punjab.— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) September 28, 2021
Singh dubbed the developments a “drama” and said the cricketer-turned-politician is “unstable” and “not fit” for the border state. “I told you so…he is not a stable man and not fit for the border state of Punjab,” Singh tweeted soon after Sidhu posted a letter of his resignation to Sonia Gandhi on his Twitter handle.
Singh said Sidhu’s resignation within two months of taking over the vital post has proved beyond doubt that he was “an unstable man, who could not be relied upon to lead the ruling party. Terming Sidhu’s resignation as “sheer drama”, Singh said the move suggested that his former cabinet colleague was “preparing the ground to quit the Congress and join hands with someone other party in the run-up to the state assembly polls”.
“Sidhu had also proved to be absolutely incompetent during his stint as a minister in his government,” he also said.
‘Could Not Stand a Dalit CM’: AAP
The Aam Aadmi Party, reacting to the resignation, claimed that Sidhu quit from his post as he ‘could not bear” that a Dalit has been made the chief minister of the state.
Meanwhile, minutes after Sidhu resigned, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Raghav Chadha reiterated his ‘Rakhi Sawant’ remark for Sidhu by retweeting an 11-day-old post on a social media platform. Chadha has earlier too faced huge backlash for his comment as many criticised him for being “sexist” and “misogynistic”.
On September 17, Chadha had quote tweeted Sidhu’s video tweet and said, “The Rakhi Sawant of Punjab politics -Navjot Singh Sidhu- has received a scolding from Congress high command for non stop rant against Capt. Therefore today, for a change, he went after Arvind Kejriwal. Wait till tomorrow for he shall resume his diatribe against Capt with vehemence.”
‘Wrong Time to Send Priyanka to UP’: BJP
The BJP also took a swipe at the crisis, slamming Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s visit to Uttar Pradesh at a time her party faced a fresh crisis in Punjab. “Priyanka Vadra ji, you have come to UP at a wrong time. It was time to go to Punjab. Should a ticket for Punjab be arranged?” the Uttar Pradesh unit of the BJP tweeted in Hindi.
BJP leader Sambit Patra also took swipes at the party in multiple tweets. In one tweet, Patra said before ‘the Students arrived, the Guru quit’. He also poked fun by reiterating Sidhu’s phrase ‘Chaa Gye Guru’ which he used in a TV show.
“Students” के आने से पहले “गुरु” चला गया।— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) September 28, 2021
वो दो आयें नहीं ..एक चला गया ..छा गए गुरु।— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) September 28, 2021
Congress Attempts to Placate
While sources told News18 that the Congress leadership had rejected Sidhu’s resignation, another set of sources said Priyanka Gandhi would talk to the leader.
Channi in the press conference initially refused to acknowledge having any prior knowledge of Sidhu’s resignation. The CM later said he would talk to Sidhu. Most Congress leaders, even in Sidhu’s camp, have said the crisis will resolve by tomorrow, and that the party high command was in touch with him.
Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said Sidhu has “compromised with the faith” and “breached the trust” of the party high-command. Calling Sidhu “outgoing” PCC chief, Jakhar tweeted, “It’s just not cricket! What stands compromised in this entire ‘episode’ is the faith reposed in the (outgoing?) PCC President by the Congress Leadership. No amount of grand standing can justify this breach of trust placing his benefactors in a peculiar predicament.” It is believed that Jakhar enjoys a good rapport with the Gandhis and was actively involved in all important decisions regarding the crisis in Congress’s Punjab unit.