Navjot Sidhu To Take Call On Whether Or Not To Contest Amritsar LS Bypoll, Says Captain Amarinder Singh

Indicating an announcement soon by Navjot Singh Sidhu on his role in the Punjab Congress, party president Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said the decision on whether or not to contest the Amritsar Lok Sabha bypoll had been left to the ex-cricketer.

Addressing mediapersons after welcoming into the party fold four new joinees, Captain Amarinder said he had met Sidhu and got the impression that he was interesting in campaigning for Punjab Congress in the coming assembly polls, but the final call on contesting or not contesting was his.

Responding to questions, Captain Amarinder said while the decision on ticket allocation was the prerogative of the Congress national president Sonia Gandhi he would be happy to campaign for Mrs Navjot Kaur Sidhu if she gets the ticket for Amritsar East assembly segment.

On a question regarding announcement of Congress tickets for the Assembly elections, Captain Amarinder said all the candidates for the 117 seats in the state will be announced after December 8, when the next meeting of the Congress Election Committee is scheduled.

In response to a question about Rahul Gandhi being elevated as the Congress national president, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president such a move would be beneficial for the party in Punjab.

Asked about the AAP threat to the Congress in the coming polls, Captain Amarinder made it clear that Arvind Kejriwal’s party was nowhere on the scene and though it had secured some advantaged earlier, things had deteriorated now to such an extent that they could not win even four seats in Punjab.

Expressing serious concern over the fallout of demonetisation in terms of its impact on the common people, Captain Amarinder said his personal view was that its objective – to eliminate black money – was good but the implementation was totally lousy. It was common sense that if 86% of the cash is taken out of the market there will be problems, he pointed out, adding that the government should have prepared itself better before making the announcement.

Replying to a question on the Income Tax department complaint against him, Captain Amarinder said there was no substance in the case, which was completely politically motivated. He pointed out that the issue of his alleged foreign assets was first raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he (the PPCC president) was pitched against BJP’s Arun Jaitley in Amritsar during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. “Nobody knew me in Barmer (Rajasthan), so what was the point of talking about me there,” he asked, adding that this clearly indicated that the entire case had been fabricated.