Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s new government ought to have been more careful in taking decisions and not precipitated the crisis in the Punjab Congress, according to an advisor to Navjot Singh Sidhu, the state party unit chief who resigned today.
Dubbing Congress leader Amarinder Singh’s allegation that Mr Sidhu may move to another party speculation, the cricketer-turned-politician’s advisor Surinder Dalla today told NDTV that the former Chief Minister “must have been confused” while making the comment.
“Mr Sidhu’s fight is one of principles,” Mr Dalla said. “People should understand that for any political party or elected representative, the prime issue is the issue of one’s own state.”
When asked if Mr Sidhu had opposed legislator SS Randhawa being made a minister in Punjab, Mr Dalla said, “The issue was not about ‘which individual must get which ministry’. The principle in question was whether there was any forward movement, from day one, on the 18 points that had been agreed upon?”
He insisted that the state Congress President had no personal issues with Captain Amarinder Singh, who quit a few days ago as Chief Minister after battling severe inner-party criticism for months.
When a few issues – like the one involving sacrilege or certain government appointments – that had rankled Mr Sidhu during Mr Singh’s term were listed out, Mr Dalla said the question was whether the new government was setting up a team that would handle them.
“The party and the government should have followed the same line. If Captain Saab himself had followed that line, then what was the problem?” Mr Dalla said.
“If even after the change (in leadership), the new government doesn’t follow that line from day one, then ‘people’ are bound to get angry, and it did happen.”
Will a situation arise now where Mr Sidhu withdraws his resignation?
“I am not in a position to say anything on this matter right now. If we don’t work on the party’s line, then what will the state party’s chief tell the people?”
“It is my opinion that before any decision is taken, the people’s sentiments need to be considered.”