‘My captain’ quip lands loquacious Navjot Singh Sidhu in a jam


State Congress leaders take umbrage at Punjab Cabinet Minister’s ‘insult’ to Capt. Amarinder Singh.

Navjot Singh Sidhu, the batsman-turned-cricket commentator and politician, is rarely short of words.

So, asked after a campaign meeting in Hyderabad for his reaction to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s disapproval of his visit to Pakistan for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, the Punjab Minister found his attempt at repartee quickly landing him in a political soup back in his home State.

“Which captain are you talking about? Oh… Captain Amarinder Singh? He is an Army Captain. My captain is Rahul Gandhi saab. His [Amarinder Singh’s] captain is also Rahul Gandhi, my captain is Rahul Gandhi,” he quipped to journalists, in televised comments.

Advice ignored

The Punjab Chief Minister, who had declined Pakistan’s invitation to attend the ceremony citing terrorist attacks in his State, had also urged Mr. Sidhu to “reconsider’’ his decision to attend the event. The former cricketer, who had earlier attended Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony, however, went ahead and attended the recent event in Pakistan as well.

Mr. Sidhu’s remark has not gone down well with the leaders of the Congress’s Punjab unit. On Saturday Mr. Sidhu faced flak from his party colleagues. Terming Mr. Sidhu’s remark as an “insult’’ to Capt. Singh, Punjab’s Rural Development Minister Tript Rajinder Bajwa asked Mr. Sidhu to step down from his Cabinet position on moral grounds.

Mr. Bajwa said that while Congress president Rahul Gandhi is the “captain’’ for all Congressmen, including Capt. Singh, Capt. Singh was at the same time the “undisputed’’ leader of all Punjab Congressmen.

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