Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said he would fight Navjot Sidhu’s elevation to Punjab Chief Ministership tooth and nail, and was ready to make any sacrifice to save the country from such a “dangerous man”.
Even as he reiterated his intention to counter any move to make Sidhu the state’s Chief Minister face, Amarinder Singh said he will pit a strong candidate against him in the 2022 Assembly polls to ensure his defeat.
“He (Sidhu) is dangerous for the state,” said the former Chief Minister in a series of media interviews.
Asserting that he will only leave politics on a high, he said: “I was ready to leave after a victory but never after a loss.”
He disclosed that he had offered his resignation to party President Sonia Gandhi three weeks earlier but she had asked him to continue. “If she had just called me and asked me to step down, I would have,” he said, adding that “as a soldier, I know how to do my task and leave once I am called back”.
He said he had even told Sonia Gandhi that he was ready to hang his boots and allow someone else to take over as the Chief Minister after leading the Congress to another sweeping win in Punjab. “But that did not happen, so I will fight,” he asserted, taking strong exception at being subjected to “humiliation” by calling a Congress Legislative Party meeting in a secretive manner, without taking him into confidence.
“I would not have taken MLAs on a flight to Goa or some place. That is not how I operate. I don’t do gimmicks, and the Gandhi siblings know that is not my way,” he said, adding: “Priyanka and Rahul (Gandhi) are like my children… this should not have ended like this. I am hurt.”
He claimed that the Gandhi siblings were “quite inexperienced” and “their advisors were clearly misguiding them”.
Indicating that he was still keeping his political options open, the former Chief Minister said he was talking to his friends before deciding on his future course of action.
“You can be old at 40 and young at 80,” he quipped, making it clear that he did not see his age as a hurdle.
On allegations of inaccessibility, Amarinder Singh said he had been elected to the Vidhan Sabha seven times and twice to the Parliament.
“There must be something right with me,” he remarked, adding that the Congress leadership had evidently decided on making the change (in Punjab) and were trying to make up a case.