Navjot Sidhu Says “Those Who Oppose Me Make Me Better”. Captain On Stage

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Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he was fighting at the border when Navjot Sidhu was born.

Chandigarh:

With a quick, stylish swish of his air-bat, Navjot Singh Sidhu today took charge as the new President of the Punjab Congress amid loud chants of his name from the audience. With Chief Amarinder Sindh in attendance on the dais, the cricketer-turned-politician looked set for a new innings, leaving behind months of a crisis in the state party unit.

His first speech as Punjab Congress President also hinted at his approach towards managing the affairs there.

“I will work shoulder-to-shoulder with you. I have no ego…The Congress is united today, contrary to what our opposition is saying,” he said in his, by now well-known, aggressive style.

Yet, one could also sense hints of the recent turmoil in the party, especially involving Chief Minister Singh, when he said, “Those who oppose me improve, me.”

Mr Sidhu and Mr Singh have faced off for months till the former was appointed Punjab Congress President last week, much to the consternation of the Chief Minister who gave in only at the last moment. Hours before the inauguration, the two met up for tea at Punjab Bhawan in Chandigarh.

The ‘tea party’ today marked the end of hostilities, at least apparently, given that Mr Singh had till recently refused to meet Mr Sidhu until the later publicly apologised for his severe criticism.

The new state Congress President indicated that all that was now being put behind.

“My fights are not the issue. The farmers sitting in Delhi, the problems of doctors and nurses…these are the real issues,” he said. “We have to resolve the issues, then we are true before god.”

Deploying his famous “Sidhuism”, he said in Punjabi: “Zyada nahin bolna si, par visphotak bolna si. (Don’t speak much, but speak explosively)”.

Speaking at the installation ceremony earlier, Chief Minister Singh struck a lighter note saying he was fighting at the border when Mr Sidhu was born.

He also focused on the Aam Admi Party (AAP), perceived to be gaining political ground in the state.

“I have no faith in AAP…There are reports that they have some dealings with Pakistan,” he said.

Mr Sidhu, too, touched on this rivalry saying the “Delhi model will be blown away by the Punjab model”, adding with a flourish, “baat khatam (end of the matter)”.

Punjab goes to polls early in 2022.



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