Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was not included in the list of speakers at Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s Moga rally, has said that by not inviting him to speak has shown him his place and made it clear who will campaign for the party in the coming Lok Sabha elections. "If I am not good enough to speak at Rahul’s rally, I am not good enough as a speaker and a campaigner. Whether I am invited to speak or not is something that is not under my control. But it has shown me my place and made it clear who all from the Congress will campaign for the party in the coming Lok Sabha polls," Sidhu was quoted as saying by The Hindustan Times as saying.
However, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar played down the controversy and said that Sidhu’s exclusion was an oversight and asserted that he continued to be the party’s star campaigner.
"Sidhu is our party’s star campaigner. It was an oversight on part of the party. Rahul ji asked me if all had spoken, when he (Rahul) was invited to speak. I told him I do not know as I had come with him," Jakhar said.
State cooperation minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who anchored the event said that he was told to name just four speakers as the Congress chief was getting late for another rally in Himachal Pradesh.
"I was told that Rahul ji was getting late for another rally at Kangra in Himachal so only Jakhar, the CM, Asha Kumari and Rahul ji will speak. Had I been told Sidhu too is to be invited, I would have called him. He is our party’s star campaigner and I enjoy a good rapport with him," he said.
Sidhu, who quit BJP to join the Congress was named as party’s star campaigner during the recent Assembly elections in Rajasthan and during his rallies, he had claimed to be a loyal soldier of Rahul Gandhi. Sources say that Sidhu, who has been a star campaigner of the Congress, has become a liability for the party due to his closeness with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.