A chief ministerial face will decide whether 60 candidates are elected as MLAs or not, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu said on Saturday, referring to the number 60, one more than 59 lawmakers needed to form government in Punjab with 117-member assembly.
Sidhu also stressed that a person who has a roadmap for Punjab and who enjoys the people's trust can only ensure 60 contestants get elected as legislators. Notably, a party needs 59 seats out of a total of 117 assembly segments for forming the government in Punjab.
For the last several weeks, both Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu have, directly or indirectly, made a case for themselves to be declared as the party's nominee for the top post.
Addressing the media in Amritsar on Saturday, Sidhu who is contesting from Amritsar East seat, said he was never a “worshipper of power”. “But today Punjab has to decide a big thing. A person will become CM if there are 60 MLAs. Nobody is talking about 60 MLAs. Nobody talks about on which roadmap the government will be formed,” he said.
Sidhu again batted for his Punjab Model for bringing the state back on its feet. “It is not Sidhu's model but state's model and if anyone has a better model he will accept that too." He said, “Sixty MLAs will be made by that person who has a roadmap and enjoys people's trust. The truth is that the face will decide whether 60 (contestants) become MLAs or not.”
Referring to his joining the Congress after leaving the BJP ahead of 2017 polls, Sidhu said he did not leave the party to join another for any post and in fact, he had given up his Rajya Sabha membership. “I came (into Congress) because I have concern for Punjab," he said.
Sidhu said his fight has always been against those who have looted Punjab. “My fight is against those who are dishonest. When someone at the top is honest, the honesty percolates right down below,” he said.
"I have not waged any personal battle with anyone till today. I have always fought for Punjab," he said. Sidhu further said he never deviated from issues of politics, policy and budgetary allocation.
“Has Sidhu opened his shop for business, quarry or liquor?” he asked. He said he was the only person whose earnings dipped sharply, in an apparent reference to what he used to earn from doing TV shows and cricket commentary.
“I will be the only person whose income dropped by crores of rupees. But I have the satisfaction that income was nothing,” he said, adding people remember those who can change society for betterment. “My Punjab model is meant to change the lives of children, youths and people of the state,” he said.
He further said this model will check those people who are looting the state. “Punjabis have to decide which face will implement this (Punjab model). On whose name, 60 (contestants) will be elected as MLAs. The biggest question is what is his policy, what is his character and what is his morality,” he asked.
“Can a person, who is part of the mafia, stop it?” he further asked as he targeted the previous Akali and Amarinder Singh led regimes. “Punjab model is not of Navjot Sidhu. The Punjab model is an experience of Sidhu. It is not an experience of a person or a remote control sitting in Delhi,” he said as he targeted AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.
He said Kejriwal left his Delhi model and was now talking about the Punjab model. “I say you (Kejriwal) are fake Sidhu,” he said.
With inputs from PTI.