I love him: Sidhu plays down ‘captain’ remark on Amarinder Singh

Sidhu did not let go of the opportunity to launch a sideways attack on the BJP saying that the Modi government was a puppet in the hands of big industrialists and that it hasn’t done anything for the poor.

india Updated: Dec 03, 2018 13:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Navjot Singh Sidhu,Captain Amarinder Singh,Rajasthan
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu sought to distance himself from the ‘captain’ remark controversy, saying that he loved Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.(PTI)

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday sought to cool down the controversy around his ‘captain’ remark, saying that he loved Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and would sort out the row, one-on-one.

Speaking in Jhalawar, Rajasthan, where he’s campaigning for the Congress, ahead of the December 7 voting in the state, Sidhu said, “You don’t want to wash dirty linen in public. He (Capt Amarinder Singh) is a fatherly figure, I love him, I respect him, I will sort it out myself.”

At the same time, Sidhu did not let go of the opportunity to launch a sideways attack on the BJP saying that the Modi government was a puppet in the hands of big industrialists and that it hasn’t done anything for the poor.

“Modi government is a puppet in the hands of big industrialists. There is nothing for the poor. It’s only for Ambani and Adani,” Sidhu said on his statement that the “BJP gave us 3 Modis, Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and the one sitting in Ambani’s lap Narendra Modi”.

Also Read: Sidhu said Amarinder like his father: Wife comes out in defence

Sidhu’s insistence on sorting out the issues with Punjab chief minister indicates an effort to cap the row over his visit to Pakistan for the Kartarpur corridor project and his explanation for ignoring Captain Amarinder Singh’s advice. The chief minister too had received an invite from Pakistan but had turned it down, accusing Pakistan of continuing to sponsor terror attacks in Punjab. He didn’t want Sidhu to travel either.

Soon after returning home, the Punjab minister had underlined that Rahul Gandhi was his captain. The remark was seen as a dig at the chief minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. Sidhu’s detractors in the party had quickly rushed to target him for the comment that they said, were disrespectful of the chief minister and demanded he should be booted out of the Punjab Cabinet.

In an interview to Hindustan Times, Sidhu stressed that he meant no disrespect.

“This is politics. I am accountable to my conscience. I’m here for Punjab. I have utmost respect for my chief minister. What I said was that Rahul Gandhi is my captain - is there something wrong in it? Let anybody deny that Rahul Gandhi is not our captain. Let him [Amarinder] deny that Rahul Gandhi is not his captain.”

He denied rumours that there had been a rift between him and Captain Amarinder Singh. “This is absolute nonsense. Have I ever challenged him? Have I ever said, ‘I will not do this or that’? This feud is being created for political convenience,” he said.

Referring to the Kartarpur Corridor and whether it would help solve India-Pakistan tensions, he said that if it didn’t then both countries should close down their embassies in the two countries. “Stop exchanging sweets and stop cricket diplomacy. Bring the ambassadors back. We need to ask, has the war and bloodshed brought a solution in 71 years? Imran said we are an atomic power, war cannot happen. The only way forward is talks, peace and prosperity. This is Baba Nanak’s philosophy also,” he said.

First Published: Dec 03, 2018 13:27 IST