New Delhi, July 21: In an apparent show of strength, newly appointed Punjab Congress chief, Navjot Singh Sidhu ferried the party’s lawmakers to the Golden Temple. The party’s MLAs were seen at Sidhu’s house in Amritsar and by noon at least 40 of them had turned up.
They were then ferried to the Golden Temple in a luxury bus. Sidhu who was greeted by his supporters emerged out of the sunroof of his car and greeted the crowd. He was honoured with robes of honour, garlands and mementoes following which he visited Khatkar Kalan which is the ancestral village of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
Sidhu also got a rousing welcome when he reached Amritsar after becoming the PPCC chief.
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At Nawanshahr, he was accompanied by MLAs Kuljit Singh Nagra, who is one of the four working presidents appointed by the Congress, Raj Kumar Verka, Angad Saini, Sukhpal Bhullar, Inderbir Singh Bolaria and Gurpreet Singh GP.
There was heavy police deployment in the area and barricades were put up.
Sidhu again told the media about the Punjab model, saying it will make the state prosperous again.
“An 18-point programme given by the Congress high command will make every Punjabi a shareholder and the power given by the people be returned in the shape of development,” he said.
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Sidhu said he stressed on awakening the spirit of truth and rights among each Punjabi.
Farmers representing the Kirti Kisan Union later blocked traffic for half an hour after they were not allowed to meet Sidhu.
Sohan Singh Athwal of the Kirti Kisan Union said they had no plans to ”gherao” the new chief of the Punjab Congress.
He said the farmers only wanted to lodge their protest over the alleged failure of various political parties, including the Congress, to come to their rescue.
Athwal said the farmers wanted to question Sidhu. Traffic was blocked as police ensured Sidhu”s exit from another route, he added.
After paying floral tributes, Sidhu, along with other party leaders, headed towards Amritsar.
Scores of Congress workers and supporters accorded a warm welcome to the cricketer-turned-politician when he arrived at the main entry point–Golden Gate in Amritsar.
Among party leaders who welcomed Sidhu included MLAs Inderbir Singh Baloria, Raj Kumar Verka, Sunil Dutti, Sukhwinder Singh Danny and leader Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lali.
Sidhu’s supporters and party workers were dancing to the beats of a “dhol”.
The party workers put up posters of Sidhu at many places in the city.
Sidhu will pay obeisance at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Wednesday.
Before going to his residence, Sidhu went to a hospital for the treatment of his injury to his right foot’s toe. The nail of his toe broke at Khatkar Kalan in Nawanshahr. He was discharged after dressing.
(With PTI inputs)
Story first published: Wednesday, July 21, 2021, 13:58 [IST]