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Punjab Assembly elections | Amarinder Singh says Sidhu’s tall claims of fighting sand mafia have fallen flat

Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and State Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. File

Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and State Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. File

Former Punjab Chief Minister and Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) chief Captain Amarinder Singh (retd.) on Monday hit out at Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for his “tall claims” of fighting the sand mafia.

Capt. Amarinder said that considering that many of the Congress MLAs whom Mr . Sidhu had led in rebellion against him (Capt. Amarinder) had direct or indirect interest or share in the sand mafia, his (Mr. Sidhu’s) credentials in the matter were patently dubious.


“This, coupled with the fact that the PPCC enjoyed hobnobbing with anti-nationals elements, including his close friends in the Pakistan leadership that had even lobbied for his induction to the State Cabinet, had exposed his self-interest and his completely apathy to Punjab’s interests,” he stated.

Rejects charge

Rejecting Mr. Sidhu’s allegation that he (Capt. Amarinder) had failed to take action against the sand mafia during his tenure as Chief Minister, the PLC leader said that not only he had taken all possible administrative steps to check illegal mining, he had also specifically asked the Congress president for directives on acting against the Congress leaders and members involved in the racket.

Capt. Amarinder observed that the Congress MLAs, about whose ties with the sand mafia he had reported to the Congress president, were in direct touch with the party leadership in the run-up to his removal from chief ministership. “What is shocking is that instead of taking action against these MLAs, who had the support of Mr. Sidhu, the Congress’s top leadership had chosen to sack me.”

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Capt. Amarinder said Mr. Sidhu’s persistent and unsubstantiated attacks against him even after his departure from the Congress showed how insecure the latter was. “In his desperation to undermine my political clout and importance in Punjab, Mr. Sidhu had even forgotten his own party unit, which was in a state of total disarray with blatant and open infighting,” he said, adding that together, Mr. Sidhu and Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi were leaving no stone unturned to ensure the wipeout of the Congress in Punjab.

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 12:45:26 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/punjab-assembly-elections-amarinder-singh-says-sidhus-tall-claims-of-fighting-sand-mafia-have-fallen-flat/article38319846.ece