'People who dug holes...': Navjot Sidhu's message after Congress' Punjab defeat
"I'm not going into a deep analysis of whether people accepted Channi's face as chief minister candidate or not," he said in response to outgoing chief minister Charanjit Channi's twin defeats.
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu said on Friday that 'people who dug holes for me, are now buried 10 feet under... everyone can see that' in his first interaction with the media since his party was hammered in the Assembly election and he lost from Amritsar (East).
"People who dug holes for Sidhu got buried in holes 10 feet deeper. Let bygones be bygones... People have voted for AAP for a change, I congratulate them... New seeds have to be sown... not 'chinta' but 'chintan' should be done," the ex cricketer told news agency ANI.
"I'm not going into a deep analysis of whether people accepted Channi's face as chief minister candidate or not," he said in response to outgoing chief minister Charanjit Channi's twin defeats; Channi contested from both Chamkaur Saheb and Bhadaur, and lost both races.
The Congress has been voted out in Punjab with Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party winning 92 of 117 seats. The GOP won just 18 - down from 77 in 2017. As distressing as the defeat is, the scale has rankled the Congress, as has the fact both Sidhu and Channi were beaten.
Yesterday, once it became clear the AAP would displace the Congress in Punjab, Sidhu tweeted the result was 'the voice of God' and that he 'humbly accept(s) the mandate of the people of Punjab'. "Congratulations to AAP" he wrote.
The AAP coasted to victory but was helped by bitter infighting within the Congress; Channi, Punjab's first Dalit chief minister, and Sidhu frequently sparred with each other in the build-up to last month's election, as did Sidhu and ex chief minister Amarinder Singh, whose explosive resignation in November last year deepened the party's crisis.
Sidhu lost the Amritsar (East) seat to Jeevanjyot Kaur of the AAP by over 6,000 votes. The defeat was stunning also because he has been voted to the Lok Sabha from Amritsar in three previous elections, although those were on a BJP ticket.
In 2017 he contested with the Congress and won by 42,000 votes.
Channi lost from Chamkaur Sahib in Rupnagar district and Bhadaur in Barnala.
They weren't the only two heavyweights to fall.
Veteran Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal also bit the dust against an AAP candidate. "We accept the people's verdict. We'll hold a meeting to introspect the results... support the AAP in Punjab,” Sukhbir Singh Badal, Parkash Singh Badal's son, said.
AAP's chief minister pick, Bhagwant Mann, who cruised to victory in Dhuri, met Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi this afternoon. He has said he will announce the date of his swearing-in later today.