Even as newly appointed Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring took charge on Friday, former state party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu said the party lost the recent Punjab Assembly polls because of the “mafia raj” that prevailed in the state under Congress rule.
“The Congress will have to reinvent itself to come back to power… Honest faces with moral authority and integrity will be the propellers. We are fighting a battle of existence for this great state… It’s either the Mafia or Honest people…,” Sidhu tweeted.
Speaking to reporters, the Congress leader said the party lost due to deep-rooted corruption in the system.
“I did not speak earlier but everybody has a right to speak and I say today that the Congress lost because of the five-year rule of the mafia raj,” he said.
Sidhu said he had always fought against the mafia. “My fight was not against any individual. It was against the system and against some persons who were eating into the state like termites. In this system, chief ministers (read Captain Amarinder Singh and Charanjit Singh Channi) were involved but now they are gone,” he said.
Sidhu said as long as politics is a business in Punjab, you will put the state exchequer in your personal pocket. “So it will either be Punjab or the mafia. Even today it’s the fight is for Punjab’s existence and not for any post. Now all people have understood it,” he said.
“The day the mafia will come to an end in Punjab, the state will start moving forward. But till the day people involved with this deep-rooted mafia are there, people who love Punjab more than their life will keep on fighting for it,” Sidhu added.
He praised Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann as a younger brother and an “honest man”. “He (Mann) is an honest man. I have never raised a finger at him. If he fights against it, my support is with him, even rising above party lines, because it is a fight for Punjab’s existence.”