The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) demanded the immediate dismissal of Punjab Local government minister Navjot Sidhu from the Punjab cabinet on Friday claiming the emergence of new evidence in which he has openly admitted to beating a man to death in 1988.
In a statement here, former minister and SAD spokesman Maheshinder Singh Grewal said the emergence of a taped interview of Sidhu which was conducted in 2010 had finally let the cat out of the bag.
“Now we know for a fact that Navjot Sidhu engaged in a brawl with Gurnam Singh in 1988 in Patiala and admitted and accepting hitting the victim with fist blows resulting in his death,” he said.
Grewal said the extra judicial confession of Navjot Sidhu now squarely fixed the responsibility of Gurnam’s death on the Local government minister. “Sidhu has admitted to the extent that he is not Gautam Buddha and that he cannot show the other cheek when provoked.
He has also openly admitted his presence at the scene of crime besides indulging in violence which resulted in the death of an innocent,” he said.
Grewal claimed all this had put the onus of taking action against the Local government minister on Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh.
He said the complete silence of both leaders on this vital issue was mystifying. “The Congress party must disclose its compulsion to protect a person who has no qualms about admitting that he had a violent past and that his failure to exercise self restraint had led to the death of an innocent elderly man. The Congress party and especially Rahul Gandhi is fond of talking about morality and ethics in public life. Now Rahul must tell Punjabis as well as the heirs of the deceased why he is not taking any action against Navjot Sidhu. Similarly Amarinder Singh should also tell Punjabis why he continues to retain such a tainted colleague in this council of ministers”, he said.
The SAD leader further said Sidhu had already been found guilty of tax evasion by the Income Tax department. “Even politically he has been exposed when he stooped so low as to praise former PM Dr Manmohan Singh whom he had insulted by targeting the tenets of his faith. His character and credibility stand thoroughly exposed. He has no moral right to continue in public life,” Grewal added.