A day after resigning from the post of Punjab Congress chief, Navjot Singh Sidhu has continued his endorsement of the Aam Aadmi Party which snatched the state from his own party. In a tweet wishing the new Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who was sworn into the top job on Wednesday, he said that Mr Mann "unfurls a new anti-mafia era in Punjab." Following his party's defeat, he had drawn flak for congratulating the people of Punjab for making an "excellent decision" in choosing AAP.
"The happiest man is the one from whom no one expects ... Bhagwant Mann unfurls a new anti - Mafia era in Punjab with a mountain of expectations ...hope he rises to the occasion , brings back Punjab on the revival path with pro - people policies ... best always," he said on Twitter.
The happiest man is the one from whom no one expects … Bhagwant Mann unfurls a new anti - Mafia era in Punjab with a mountain of expectations …hope he rises to the occasion , brings back Punjab on the revival path with pro - people policies … best always— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) March 17, 2022
Mr Sidhu featured prominently in the Congress's prolonged infighting last year which experts believe was one of the reasons that led the party to a humiliating defeat. He went head-to-head with former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, accusing him of shielding the drug mafia and going soft on political rivals accused in the sensitive sacrilege case. Captain Singh was then unceremoniously removed from the top job and replaced by Charanjit Singh Channi just months ahead of the state assembly elections. Mr Sidhu, who unsuccessfully projected himself as the Chief Minister contender after Captain Singh's removal, continued to take swipes at his own party's government led by Mr Channi.
Mr Sidhu, in his first interaction with the media following the party's defeat, had drawn flak for praising the people of Punjab for making an "excellent" decision to usher change by bringing the Aam Aadmi Party to power.
When asked how he can say that being the Congress president, he had asserted that the people have chosen change and they are never wrong. "The voice of the people is the voice of God. We should understand with humility and bow to it," he said.
The Congress, which was initially seen as a major contender in what was supposed to be a fierce multi-cornered fight in the state assembly elections, suffered a drubbing at the hands of AAP which posted a massive victory winning 92 of the total 117 assembly seats. The grand old party saw a sharp decline in its vote share compared to the 2017 elections, with even the Congress Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi losing both the seats he contested.
Mr Sidhu himself lost the Amritsar East seat to Jeevanjyot Kaur of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) by a margin of over 6,000 votes. While he polled 32,929 votes, Ms Kaur received 39,520 votes.