Former Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday clarified that he was not after any post either in party or in the state government. But he stressed he was “not a showpiece” which can be used to win elections and then “selfish vested interests can override the interests of Punjab”.
In an interview to The Indian Express at his Patiala residence, the senior Congress leader who been critical of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder on several issues, said that he was willing to become a zila parishad member in the state, let alone a Deputy CM or the PPCC president, and walk behind the Chief Minister if his (Sidhu’s) agenda for the development of Punjab was followed.
“I am not a showpiece that you will take me out campaigning, win the elections and then keep me back in the almirah. So that I can see how you do mining, how you do this, how you do that. And selfish vested interests overriding the interests of the state. This is unbearable for me,” said Sidhu.
Sidhu added that from the first cabinet meeting, he began his fight against the “system” running the state. “This system is controlled, manipulated and designed by two powerful families. They are the ones who control this system. They have belittled the legislature. The legislature is always accountable to the people. The people chose ministers and MLAs, they voted for them. They did not vote for an officer. But when you make the system accountable to an officer you have belittled the legislature. Why? To control. The power of the people does not return and is restricted to a few,” he said.
Referring to the ‘system’ throughout the interview, even when he spoke about his meetings with Capt Amarinder, Sidhu said that red herrings were being floated about meetings being held in Delhi with the high command and posts being offered to him. No meeting with the party high command is scheduled in the coming days, he added.
Further stating that he has received several offers but he rejected all, “Because does that matter? They have made it about posts saying this post will be offered, that power will be offered. Is it about posts? It is about an agenda, about a roadmap about how Punjab will be resurrected to its glory. “
“You fulfil it, I will walk behind you. Without a post I will work for you 24×7. But if you do not fulfil this then I will do it. I will take it to the people, through the people, by the people, for the people. I will get that power from the people. I will fight. My stand is very clear. I think 200 times before I take a stand, but once I take a stand I do not flinch nor back an inch,” Sidhu further added.
When asked if he will take this stand within Congress or out of it, Sidhu said this was not a point to be debated.
“Listen, this is not an issue. Those who know me, those who know what I stand for. Those who know my character know the truth. These little games that are played…zikr ussi ka hota hai jiski fikr hoti hai (We mention those we care about). “
He also accused the government of diverting from the real issues. The real issue is the income of the state, jobs, farmers, solutions, how to benefit people. Hinting he was facing some health issues, Sidhu said, “My stay in Patiala is in a house that my father built exactly at his age and I don’t want to trouble anyone with my personal problems.