The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today took potshots at Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh for "welcoming" Navjot Singh Sidhu to join hands with the Congress and urged him to "understand and appreciate the ground realities" of the state. "He should stop dreaming of chief ministership and start living as a normal human being," SAD secretary and spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said here. "The Congress leadership in Delhi has understood the real situation in Punjab, but Amarinder has still not stopped day-dreaming," he added. Cheema claimed that from the day-to-day developments within the Congress and "U turns" of Amarinder, it had become "abundantly clear" that he was "being compelled to effect the decisions" of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, whom he considered "premature for Indian politics". The SAD spokesman said today's statement of Amarinder, welcoming former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu's 'Awaaz-e-Punjab' front into the Congress fold, was a fresh example of the "miserable condition" of the state Congress chief. Cheema claimed that Sidhu and company, whom he referred to as the 'Tonga Party', had become so important for Amarinder that under pressure from the Congress high-command, he was "forced" to issue the statement at Amritsar. From all these happenings, it had become amply clear that Amarinder had not been able to raise "even a single issue" against the ruling SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab and he was "trying to hog limelight through cheap political gimmicks", but these would not help the Congress come out of its "miserable" state of affairs, he claimed. Cheema said during the recent months, Amarinder first gave a "clarion call" to all the opposition parties in the state to unite under the Congress umbrella which was rejected by all of them.
Then, he called upon "political individuals" to forge an alliance with his party but no one "paid any heed" and now, he was forced to "eat up his rejections" by the high-command of his own party. Amarinder today welcomed all the "anti-Badal forces" into the Congress fold for the "betterment of the state". "Not just Sidhu, but all those committed to Punjab's governance, to whichever party they may belong, are welcome to join the Congress unconditionally," he had said, responding to questions from reporters on the possibility of the merger of Sidhu's Awaaz-e-Punjab front with his party. "I have always maintained that whoever has the interests of the people of Punjab at heart and is ready to embrace the Congress values unconditionally, can come to us and we will accept them with open arms," he had said.
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