Will do my best to protect Punjab from anti-nationals like Sidhu
THE WEEK|October 03, 2021
INTERVIEW Amarinder Singh, former Punjab chief minister
SONI MISHRA

After being ousted from the chief minister's chair, Amarinder Singh is in a combative mood, taking on his rivals in the party, including state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. In an interview with THE WEEK, Singh said he had offered to resign earlier, but was persuaded to stay on by Sonia Gandhi. He said Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were inexperienced and were misguided by their advisers. Throwing an open challenge to the Congress, he said he would do his best to keep Sidhu out of power. Excerpts:

Q. You spoke about feeling humiliated. Whom do you blame for this?

A. I don’t really know who is responsible and who took the decision to move in this manner. What does seem to be clear now is that Rahul and Priyanka, who are themselves quite inexperienced, were fed all kind of nonsense by their advisers like (AICC general secretary) K.C. Venugopal. It is unfortunate that after [me putting in] so many years of loyal service to the Congress, the party leadership chose to trust them over me. Especially after I delivered every election to them in the past four and a half years.

Q. You spoke to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. What did she have to say?

A. I told her that I felt I was left with no option but to step down, given the way I had been treated and humiliated. She said she was sorry. We did not have any detailed discussion on the political developments. That was done earlier, when I had met her in Delhi. I had told her then that Navjot Sidhu and I don’t see eye to eye, and since he’s now the PPCC president, I would like to be relieved. But she refused and asked me to continue.

Q. Critics say there is severe anti-incumbency against your government.

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