Equating cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu with former MP Jagmeet Brar, who was expelled from the Congress earlier this year, Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh said he doesn’t want another undisciplined person in the party.
Talking to the media after kicking off Congress’ farmer outreach programme here on Sunday, Amarinder ruled out an alliance with Sidhu’s Awaaz-e-Punjab front. Though he was welcome to merge his front with the Congress, the former CM added. “Anyone willing to join the Congress has to be a part of the party,” he said.
Answering a query on Sidhu’s wife Dr Navjot Kaur’s claim that her husband was in touch with the Congress high command in New Delhi, Amarinder said party president Sonia Gandhi was not keeping well and was not meeting anyone. Party vice-president Rahul Gandhi was in Uttar Pradesh for about a month. “Sidhu never tried to contact me. The couple should tell who they are in contact with?” he questioned.
Amarinder said Pargat Singh was welcome to join the Congress as he is son-in-law of a party leader and his credentials are good.
Replying to a question on AAP allegations that Congress and Akalis were playing a fixed match, Amarinder said: “Let the AAP leaders clarify whether the case was not out of vendetta politics and let them also clarify whether or not they trusted the Supreme Court which reinstated me as the member of Punjab Vidhan Sabha.”
He said Punjab Vigilance Bureau move to close the case related to exemption of land by the Amritsar Improvement Trust against him has vindicated his stand that it was filed out of political vendetta and had no legal basis. The state Congress chief also promised to waive debt of Rs 35,000 crore on Punjab farmers. He said Congress workers would meet debt-ridden families who would be given a receipt that will serve as an agreement guaranteeing debt waiver once the Congress forms the government.
Speaking about the farmer outreach campaign, Amarinder said in the first phase – from October 12 to 25 — party workers would reach out to 25 lakh households, establishing contact with 75 lakh voters.
“The programme is an extension of the Congress campaign led by party’s national vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh. The Punjab farm-debt-waiver campaign will be centred around the message — karzakurki khatam; fassal di poori rakam,” said Amarinder.
Earlier, addressing party workers, Amarinder said if voted to power, the Congress would ban auctioning of farm land. He said most of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report would be implemented.