Navjot Singh Sidhu questions use of EVMs in polls, seeks voting through ballot papers

CHANDIGARH: Congress leader and Amritsar MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday attacked Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, accusing him of evading responsibility in the case involving the desecration of a religious text.

In a tweet, the former state minister also asked if the case is not the top priority for him.

Sidhu’s fresh comments have come in the wake of the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashing a probe report into police firing at people protesting against the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in Faridkot’s Kotkapura in 2015.

The HC had directed the state government to set up a new SIT to investigate the case without the then IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, who resigned soon after the court order.

Earlier in the month, the Amritsar legislator had demanded that the SIT probe into the case should be made public.

Launching a direct attack on Amarinder Singh on Friday, who also holds the Home department portfolio, the Congress MLA asked, “Is Sacrilege case not the top priority for the Home Minister?” “Evading of responsibility & making only Advocate General (AG) a scapegoat means Executive Authority has No supervisory control. Who controls the AG? Legal Team is just a pawn in this game of shifting responsibilities,” Sidhu said in a tweet.

Another senior Congress leader, Pratap Singh Bajwa, too had recently alleged that the state’s advocate general and his team were unable to defend the interests of the state despite professional and efficient investigation done by the SIT.

Two days ago, Sidhu had alleged that the delay in justice is the ‘failure of one person, who is hand-in-glove with the culprits’.

The Amritsar MLA, however, did not name anybody then.

A month ago, Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu had met over tea, discussing the possible reinduction of the Amritsar MLA in the state cabinet.

Harish Rawat, who is in-charge of Punjab affairs at the All-India Congress Committee (AICC), had been pushing for an important position for Sidhu. Last month, Sidhu also met Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi.

The tensions between Amarinder Singh and Sidhu had come out in the open in May 2019 when the CM blamed the former cricketer for the ‘inept handling’ of the Local Government Department, claiming it had resulted in the ‘poor performance’ of the Congress in urban areas in the Lok Sabha polls.

Sidhu was later stripped of this portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle, after which he resigned.