By PTI

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday said during the upcoming state assembly polls, youths will be given more tickets than they got during the last one.

Sidhu also trained guns at the previous SAD-BJP regime accusing them of patronising mafias in Punjab.

Without naming anyone, the cricketer-turned-politician also took potshots at the AAP, claiming that they were after him to join their party.

The newly appointed Punjab Pradesh Congress chief was addressing the state Youth Congress workers at the Congress Bhawan here.

A march was also taken out by Youth Congress workers on the occasion of Independence Day.

Addressing the gathering, Sidhu promised youths that he would honour the merit and added that he wanted youths to get opportunities.

Any talent is nothing without any opportunity, he stressed.

He further said he has put up a bed at the Punjab Congress Bhavan for addressing the issues of workers, a promise which he made during his installation ceremony last month.

He said he had come to change the system which does not acknowledge workers and keep the power confined to a few people.

“Youths will get one-and-half times more tickets than what they got earlier,” he announced.

The Amritsar East legislator also sought to reply to his political opponents who had accused him of being after the post and power.

Asserting that he had left the Rajya Sabha seat and other posts and asked if anybody among those criticizing him had ever left even the post of a sarpanch (village head).

He further slammed his opponents who questioned him why he did not become power minister, a portfolio which was given to him after he was divested of the Local Government Department in 2019.

Attacking the previous Akali regime, Sidhu said the state used to earn only Rs 40 crore per annum from the mining sector while Telangana earned Rs 47 crore in a week from the same sector.

He further said he will eliminate the mafia word from Punjab’s map if he ever got “power of people”.

He further said Tamil Nadu has been earning Rs 36,000 crore from the liquor business despite 50 per cent of consumption as compared to that of Punjab.

“But we have been earning just Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 crore for the last 20 years,” he said.

Apparently pointing towards the AAP, Sidhu said they have been accusing him of doing politics for a chair.

“You were after Sidhu with chair in their lap. And you came to my house and asked me, Sidhu sahib, what can we do for you?” claimed Sidhu without naming the Aam Aadmi Party.

Taking a swipe at the AAP, he added that they would write to him.

He said they should send the letter to a “correct address”.

On Friday, AAP leader Raghav Chadha had said he had written to Sidhu to remind him about the 2017 poll promises and had asked him to deliver on the same.