Navjot Singh Sidhu slams Centre, says CBI has been turned into a “puppet”

Pune: Punjab minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday alleged that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is being made to act like a “puppet” and there is an attempt to turn democracy into “danda tantra”.

Sidhu’s remarks came in the backdrop of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s sit-in against the CBI’s attempt to question the Kolkata police commissioner in connection with chit fund scam cases. “CBI is an independent and autonomous institution but you (the Centre) have made it a puppet…what prompted four judges of Supreme Court to come out in open and hold a press conference (last year)…?see the condition of RAW and how CBI chief was treated when he was trying to project a truth. “Democracy has been turned into `danda tantra’ (rule of the stick),” said Sidhu, adding the CBI’s image has taken a beating.

The cricketer-turned-politician was here to interact with students as part of a youth outreach programme launched by the Congress party. He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the event. Punjab’s Minister for Culture and Tourism said there are certain people who label those questioning them as “anti-national”. “There is an attempt to spread politics of fear and the condition in the country is such that if one does not agree with the opinion (of a section of people), he will be arm-twisted,” he said.

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Lending his support to Banerjee, Sidhu said whatever is happening in West Bengal will only strengthen the opposition. “Because people are seeing how you are trying to demean a state government which was voted by people of the state, by using muscle power and abusing CBI,” he said. The minister, however, said the people of the country are wise and in a democracy citizens do not like rulers who show their ego.

“Ego has crept into the ruling party and whenever there is an ego, the end is imminent because power means doing good for people not to arm-twist, scare or terrorise (them),” he maintained. Asked about Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s formal entry into politics, he said she has injected a positive energy into the Congress which will benefit from her charismatic personality.

“She has not been given an easy task. She has been made in-charge of UP (Eastern) and the task she has been assigned is arduous and daunting,” he said. Sidhu, talking about the present Indian cricket team, said he has seen many national squads in his career, but the side currently led by Virat Kohli is the best. The 55-year-old former cricketer praised Kohli for his physical fitness and ability to play under pressure, and rated the Indian skipper as the world’s No. 1 batsman.

Sidhu, elaborating on the Congress’s youth policy and the outreach programme,said the party is contacting youngsters to know what they are thinking. “This is a unique initiative taken by (Congress president) Rahul Gandhi and it provides youths an opportunity to express their views regarding their aspirations,” he said. Sidhu said Gandhi is going to come out with a policy that will support the young India. “This youth policy is to give wings to the aspirations of youth after detailed deliberations with them,” he added.


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