The threat at a public meeting was linked directly to Congress’s Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat’s statement pressing Mr Sidhu to sack his advisers, who had made controversial statements on Pakistan and Kashmir.
Stung by the Congress’s ultimatum in a controversy over his advisers, Navjot Singh Sidhu today declared that he “will not spare anyone” if he is not given freedom in decision-making.
“I have asked the high command to allow me to take decisions and I will ensure that the Congress prospers in the state for the next two decades. Nahin toh eint se eint bajaa doon, (I will not spare anyone),” said Navjot Sidhu, who was recently appointed the party’s Punjab chief in a tense compromise with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Asked to comment on Mr Sidhu’s pronouncement, Congress’s Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat reacted cautiously.
“I can’t question him on the basis of media speculation… I will see the context of the statement. He is party chief, who other than him can take decisions,” Mr Rawat said.
But the threat at a public meeting in Amritsar was linked directly to his statement pressing Mr Sidhu to sack his advisers, who had made controversial statements on Pakistan and Kashmir.
“These advisers were not appointed by the party. We have asked Sidhu to dismiss them. If Sidhu does not do that, I will. We do not want people who embarrass the party,” Mr Rawat told NDTV on Wednesday.
The row over Mr Sidhu’s advisers has erupted just weeks after the Congress brokered a delicate truce between him and Amarinder Singh, to try and end a bitter feud that has endangered the party’s prospects in the Punjab election next year.
But the hostilities resurfaced when on Sunday, the Chief Minister publicly told off Mr Sidhu’s advisers over comments that he said were “potentially dangerous” to the peace and stability of Punjab and the country and “totally misplaced and antagonistic” to the stated position of India and the Congress on Pakistan and Kashmir.
Amarinder Singh also urged Mr Sidhu to rein in his advisers before they ended up doing more damage to India’s interests.