Navjot Sidhu avers ‘Congress lost due to mafia raj’; skips Warring’s installation event

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Taking a veiled dig at Charanjit Singh Channi, Navjot Singh Sidhu opined that ‘mafia raj’ was responsible for Congress’ defeat in the Punjab Assembly polls.

Navjot Singh Sidhu, Congress

Image: ANI/PTI

Taking a veiled dig at Charanjit Singh Channi, ex-Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu opined that ‘mafia raj’ was responsible for the party’s defeat in the recently concluded Assembly polls. The former Punjab CM has been under fire from leaders such as Sidhu and Sunil Jakhar after he was grilled by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the illegal sand mining case. Speaking to the media outside the Punjab Congress Bhawan on Friday, Sidhu contended that his fight was against the corrupt system and stressed the need for Congress to re-invent itself. 

Contending that Punjab is facing an existential crisis, Navjot Sidhu remarked, “Today I am saying openly that Congress lost because of 5 years of Mafia Raj. I kept on fighting against this mafia. The fight against the mafia was not against any particular person. It was against a system. A group of people was eating the state like termites. The Chief Minister was involved in this and he went away. Until politics remains business, it will not be respected”. 

On this occasion, the cricketer-turned-politician met Amarinder Singh Raja Warring but left from the party headquarters 10 minutes before the ceremony to mark the latter’s installation as the new Punjab Congress president. The lack of rapport between the two leaders also came to the fore on Thursday when Sidhu met the Governor without keeping Warring in the loop. In another development, former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar also skipped today’s function amid speculation that the party is set to take strict against him for not responding to the show cause notice. 

कांग्रेस को नवीनीकरण करना होगा। डंके की चोट पर कहूंगा कि कांग्रेस 5 साल के माफिया राज की वजह से हारी। मैं इस माफिया राज के ख़िलाफ़ लड़ता रहा। यह लड़ाई सिस्टम के ख़िलाफ़ थी। कुछ लोगों का धंधा था, जो राज्य को दीमक की तरह खा रहा था। इसमें CM भी शामिल थे: नवजोत सिंह सिद्धू, कांग्रेस pic.twitter.com/rkLDPSSmqt

— ANI_HindiNews (@AHindinews) April 22, 2022

AAP stuns Congress in Punjab polls

Navjot Sidhu was asked to step down as the Punjab Congress chief after the party’s crushing defeat in the Assembly polls. Moreover, he himself faced embarrassment as he lost to AAP’s Jeevan Jyot Kaur in Amritsar East by 6,750 votes. The Aam Aadmi Party scripted history by winning a whopping 92 seats in the Punjab election, which is the single highest number of seats won by any party since the reorganization of the state in 1966.

This was also a massive jump from its 2017 tally of 20 seats. Moreover, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party garnered 42.01% of the vote share as against Congress, which got 22.98% of the total votes. In the end, Congress managed to bag only 18 seats, which was 49 seats less than its 2017 tally. This was the lowest ever tally for the Sonia Gandhi-led party post the 1997 election. Its vote share too fell from 38.64% in the previous Assembly polls to about 23% this time. 

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