Congress leader Navjot Sidhu released from Patiala jail, slams Centre

Navjot Singh Sidhu said debate and dissent though essences of democracy, were being throttled

Updated - April 01, 2023 09:34 pm IST

Published - April 01, 2023 06:11 pm IST - Patiala

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu leaves Patiala Central Jail in Patiala on April 1, 2023 after spending nearly 10 months in prison in a 1988 road rage death case.

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu leaves Patiala Central Jail in Patiala on April 1, 2023 after spending nearly 10 months in prison in a 1988 road rage death case. | Photo Credit: PTI

Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu was on Saturday set free from prison in Punjab’s Patiala, after he served a one-year sentence in a 1988 road rage death case.

Soon after his release, the Congress leader hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre, alleging that every institution in the country was facing threat, democracy was being muzzled and “has been chained.”

Talking to journalists, Mr. Sidhu said that there was no such thing as democracy left. “Democracy was in chains.. Congress members and workers are fighting oppression. Let me tell you, whenever the country has witnessed dictatorship, a revolution has come, and today, the name of the revolution is Rahul Gandhi,” he said.

“Debate and dissent are essences of the democracy, which are being throttled,” he added.

The former Punjab Congress president said that Punjab was the country’s shield, but there was a conspiracy being hatched to break the shield by attempting to impose President’s rule in the State.

He added that if Punjab was weakened, then the country would weaken and no government could become strong by weakening Punjab.

He alleged that the Centre hatched conspiracy against minorities, wherever they (minorities) were in majority. Mr. Sidhu said “First, a problem surrounding law and order is created and then attempts are made to show that it has been controlled,” he said.

Mr. Sidhu served his sentence in Patiala prison, after he was sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment by the Supreme Court last year, in the 1988 road rage case. A 65-year-old man, named Gurnam Singh, had died in the incident.

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