Stop firing from colleagues’ shoulders, Sidhu to Punjab CM

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New Delhi: Punjab Minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu addresses a press conference in New Delhi, on April 20, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

In a bitter war of words with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh over the sacrilege issue, his former Cabinet colleague and legislator Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday advised him to stop firing from his “colleagues’ shoulders”.

A defiant Sidhu reminded Amarinder Singh, a retired Indian Army officer and war historian, that “his soul demands justice for Guru Sahib”.

A day earlier, four Punjab ministers had joined three of their colleagues in demanding the suspension of Sidhu from the party for indiscipline and launching verbal attacks on Amarinder Singh.

The ministers urged the party high command to take action against Sidhu for his open rebellion against the state party leadership.

Reacting to the demand of the ministers, Sidhu, without naming Amarinder Singh, tweeted: “Yesterday & Today, My soul’s demand is Justice for Guru Sahib, will reiterate it tomorrow as well! Punjab’s Conscience is above party lines, Stop firing from party colleagues’ shoulders. You are directly Responsible & Answerable – Who will protect you in court of the Great Guru?”

As the Congress government is about to complete its five-year term in less than a year, cricketer-turned-politician Sidhu, who has been lying low since his resignation from the state Cabinet in July 2019, has launched scathing attacks against the Chief Minister over the alleged desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in 2015.

Taking a tough stance last month, Amarinder Singh has categorically said that if Sidhu “wants to contest against him, then he is free to do so but that would only lead to Sidhu meeting the fate of General J.J. Singh who had lost his security deposit”.

The Chief Minister had challenged Sidhu to clearly spell out whether he is a member of the Congress party.

“If yes, then his continuing rant against his Chief Minister and the government amounts to gross indiscipline,” Amarinder Singh had said, adding that the Congress dissident ought to choose the side he is on because “he is indulging in breaking the discipline of the party, and the BJP won’t take him back and as far as the SAD is concerned, they are also peeved with him”.

“Is sacrilege case not the top priority for the Home Minister,” Sidhu had asked the Chief Minister.

“Evading of responsibility and making only the Advocate General a scapegoat means the executive authority has no supervisory control. Who controls the AG? Legal team is just a pawn in this game of shifting responsibilities,” he had said.

Two persons were killed and many others were injured after the police under the previous SAD-BJP government resorted to unprovoked firing on hundreds of people protesting against the alleged desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in Bargari village in Faridkot district in 2015.

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