Chandigarh: Hours after Navjot Singh Sidhu joined Congress, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday said the "over-rated comedian" must explain to Punjabis as to why he was trying to befool them into voting for the party just days before the Assembly polls after "missing from the state for seven months".
Sidhu while leaving the BJP had claimed that the Akalis did not let him enter Punjab, he said.
"Now please tell the people what stopped you from entering Punjab and meeting Punjabis after resigning from the Rajya Sabha seven months back? It's obvious your commercial interests in Mumbai were more important to you than the people of the state. Even now you have waited till the last minute to stake a claim in Punjab politics. What can be termed as bigger opportunism than this?" Sukhbir alleged.
Terming Sidhu as a "first class opportunist and carpetbagger", he said it was obvious his ambition had got the better of him.
"This is why he stabbed his former self-proclaimed guru Arun Jaitley (Union Finance Minister) in the back by opposing the latter's candidature from Amritsar," the SAD president said.
He claimed Sidhu left the BJP when it was made apparent to him that he would not be anointed as its undisputed leader in Punjab.
Lately, like "fellow comedian" Bhagwant Mann of AAP, Sidhu had also started nurturing ambitions of becoming the chief minister of the state, Sukhbir alleged.
"This is why he held protracted negotiations with both AAP and the Congress before joining the latter today. AAP had promised the Deputy CM's chair to Sidhu. It is obvious he has been given a better deal by Rahul Gandhi," he said.
Terming Sidhu joining Congress a "non-event", the SAD president said the party would soon realise the comedian's "real worth".
"Except for eliciting a few laughs like Bhagwant Mann does, he has no other role to play in the elections. The Congress would have been better served if it had hired a popular comedian. I say this because Sidhu's arrogant behaviour and ego will spell doom for the Congress in the Majha region. All the seats in Amritsar are as good as lost for Congress as Congressmen will never accept someone who had heaped scorn and abuse at them till a short while ago," he said.
Sukhbir urged Punjabis to evaluate Sidhu's behaviour and past record and decide whether he could be trusted with their vote or support ever again.
"This man has taken more turns than any cricket pitch in the world. From singing praises to the SAD-BJP combine, he has courted the AAP and has now landed on the lap of the most hated Congress party. His shelf life in the Congress is also likely to be very short", the SAD president said.