Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal, raising the electoral pitch in Punjab, showered lavish praise on state Indian National Congress (INC) chief Navjot Singh Sidhu for his ‘courage’ on 23 November.
Kejriwal, who is on a two-day visit to the poll-bound state, also claimed that dozens of MLAs and a few MPs of the INC were in touch with AAP to join it, but the party did not want “their garbage”.
Answering a question on some Punjab AAP leaders joining the INC ahead of the assembly polls at a press conference in Amritsar, Kejriwal said, “When a person or MLA does not get a party ticket, he gets resentful. Some go to another party. Today, 25 Congress MLAs and two MPs are in touch with us. But we don’t get into such competitions. We don’t believe in dirty politics nor do we take garbage from other parties.”
Kejriwal raised eyebrows with his praise of Sidhu who he claimed deserved applause for raising issues of public interest. “However, the entire Congress is trying to suppress Navjot Singh Sidhu. Like Amarinder Singh, now Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi is also targeting Sidhu,” he said.
“Sidhu’s courage must be commended,” Kejriwal said. The Delhi chief minister said that when Channi claimed that sand and electricity had become cheaper, Sidhu immediately contested that.
About the funds needed for the projects announced by him, Kejriwal said, “For 20-25 years, the Congress-Amarinder and Badals-BJP ruled the state and together looted Punjab’s treasury…Sheila Dikshit’s 15-year government also emptied Delhi’s coffers. But Kejriwal knows how to fill the empty coffers because he doesn’t allow the mafia to get close while Channi has sand mafia on his right and transport and liquor mafia on his left.”
On the AAP’s chief ministerial face in Punjab, Kejriwal said, “The Congress has not yet decided whether Sidhu, Randhawa or Channi will remain. The BJP has not announced CM faces in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Goa. We will also announce a face close to the code of conduct.”