Will Navjot Singh Sidhu contest Lok Sabha elections in 2024? Here’s what Congress leader said

Image Source : PTI Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu speaks to the media in Punjab.

Ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday made a big statement, saying he will not contest the 2024 general elections. Sidhu, a former MP, had lost the 2022 assembly elections from Amritsar East seat. The cricketer-turned-politician, however, refrained from revealing whether his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu will contest the Lok Sabha elections. 

“Sidhu is not contesting Lok Sabha (polls),” the former Punjab Congress chief told reporters in Bhatinda. When asked if his wife was going to contest next year’s elections, the former cricketer said “Only she could answer that question”.

Sidhu hits out at Punjab govt 

The Congress leader also attacked Bhawant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government over rising debt, and law and order. Sidhu accused the Punjab government of deviating from “burning issues of the state”. 

Sidhu said contractual workers have been holding ‘dharnas’ demanding the regularisation of their services while government employees are protesting seeking the implementation of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS). 

More than a year has passed since the notification on the OPS has been issued, but the government has failed to implement it, said Sidhu, adding that the Congress government has already implemented the OPS in Himachal Pradesh. Not only employees, farmers in the state are also holding protests, he said.

Sidhu alleged that the Mann government was not using central funds for the assigned purposes, due to which the Union government has withheld funds worth Rs 8,000 crore for Punjab. Repairing of roads in rural areas has come to a standstill as rural development funds worth Rs 5,500 crore have been withheld, the Congress leader said.

The Centre has withheld Rs 621 crore under the National Health Mission, Rs 850 crore of mandi development fund and Rs 1,800 crore of special assistance fund for the state, he said. The Centre has said that they are not using funds for the assigned purposes, Sidhu claimed.

He alleged that the state government does not have funds even to contribute its 40 per cent share in a central scheme. Hitting out at the Mann government over the “rising” debt of the state, Sidhu said the government has so far raised Rs 60,000 crore of debt, which will increase to Rs 70,000 crore in the next three more months. Before coming to power, the AAP had said that it would repay the outstanding debt, he said, adding that the state was being pushed towards a financial emergency.

General elections 2024

It should be mentioned here that general elections are expected to be held between April and May 2024 to elect the members of the 18th Lok Sabha. The tenure of Lok Sabha is scheduled to end on 16 June 2024. The previous general elections were held in April–May 2019. After the election, the National Democratic Alliance, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, formed the union government, with Narendra Modi continuing as Prime Minister.

(With PTI inputs)

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