Punjab: Sidhu holds another rally in Hoshiarpur, targets detractors - Hindustan Times
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Punjab: Sidhu holds another rally in Hoshiarpur, targets detractors

Jan 10, 2024 06:10 AM IST

Unfazed by the opposition from a section of his party leaders, former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday addressed another rally in Hoshiarpur where he attacked his detractors in the party

Hoshiarpur: Unfazed by the opposition from a section of his party leaders, former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday addressed another rally in Hoshiarpur where he attacked his detractors in the party.

Former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu addressing a rally in Hoshiarpur on Tuesday.Harpreet Kaur/HT Photo
Former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu addressing a rally in Hoshiarpur on Tuesday.Harpreet Kaur/HT Photo

The “Jittega Punjab-Jittegi Congress” rally in Hoshiarpur was organised by disgruntled Congress leader Vishwanath Bunty.

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Former member of Parliament Santosh Chowdhary and a number of Congress councillors also attended the rally even as district Congress president Arun Micky Dogra said he was not aware of it.

“If 5,000-7,000 people gather at some place, why does someone have a stomach ache? Neither do I have any sand pit nor any business. For whom, are we fighting? We are fighting to change this system in Punjab,” Sidhu said while addressing the rally.

He also attacked the AAP , calling party convener Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann “liars”.

“They have not fulfilled any of their pre-poll promises and have pushed the state in deeper debt. The government has no policy to run the state,” Sidhu added.

“Wearing a yellow turban like Shaheed Bhagat Singh was of no use if you do just the opposite of what the legendary freedom fighter had envisioned for the state and the country. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life to rid the country of white people, but the present government is driving the youth to foreign shores as no jobs exist for them in the homeland,” said Sidhu, taking a dig at the CM.

He said the law-and-order situation has worsened and businessmen were living in fear. “How can you expect someone to invest in the state when his life was not safe”, he asked.

Targeting the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Sidhu said the party ruled the state for decades in the name of “Panth” but failed to protect the sanctity of Guru Granth Sahib.

Taking a dig at the BJP-led central government, Sidhu said that an atmosphere of fear prevailed in the country and anyone who spoke against the establishment was put behind bars. He said the Centre must stop discrimination against Punjab and should release GST dues and a special financial package. He also urged the government to wave state’s loans, roll back of dam safety law and open the border for trade with Pakistan.

The Congress leader said that protecting democracy should be the foremost priority of political leaders. He said the country needed leaders with credibility and character. Terming Congress as the foundation of the country he said it needed ‘men of character’ for its resurrection.

“Those who compromise for their self-interest should have no place in the party,” he said.

Claiming that he had no opposition in the party, Sidhu said certain vested interests projected difference of opinion as clash of personalities.

“Even if no one supports me, I have the love of people and I will continue to fight for them,” he remarked.

He said there was a lot of difference between the old and the new league of Congress leaders in terms of simplicity, honesty and trust and for reviving the party, the present day leaders would have to follow the legacy of the old guards, the Congress leader said, adding he would do his best to keep the party cadre intact.

This was Sidhu’s third such rally in less than a month. The Congress leader’s December 17 rally at Mehraj village in Bathinda had evoked a sharp reaction from several Congress leaders, including leader of opposition Partap Singh Bajwa, who had asked him to join the party’s programmes instead of setting up his “own stage”. Later, some party leaders had also demanded an action against Sidhu. On Sunday, Sidhu held another rally at Kotshamir village in Bathinda.

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