Congress Needs To ‘Reinvent Itself’, Says Sidhu As He Lauds ‘Honest’ Bhagwant Mann

New Delhi: Asserting the Congress lost the Punjab Assembly elections because of the mafia raj that prevailed in the state, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has said the grand old party now needed to reinvent itself.

Sidhu, who resigned as the Punjab Congress chief after the drubbing in the assembly polls, said earlier on Friday that the party has to reinvent itself.

“I did not speak earlier but everybody has a right to speak and I say today that the Congress lost because of the five-year rule of the mafia raj,” he added, PTI reported.

The Congress leader said that he has always fought against the mafia.

Sidhu, who has in the past criticized his own government in Punjab over alleged mafias in sand-mining, transport and cable TV sectors, however, did not elaborate further.

“My fight was not against any individual. It was against the system and against some persons who were eating into the state like termites,” Sidhu said, adding his fight is for Punjab’s existence and not for any post.

“Till the time politics remain a business it will not be respected…When Punjab becomes mafia-free, the state will rise,” he added.

The Congress leader also praised Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann as a “younger brother” and an “honest man”.

Sidhu said he will support Mann if he fights against the mafia.

“He is an honest man. I have never raised a finger at him. If he fights against it my support is with him, even rising above party lines, because it is a fight for Punjab’s existence,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event where Amrinder Singh Raja Warring took charge as the state Congress president.

The Congress leader’s praise for Mann came a day after he hit out at the Punjab government over the police action against former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders Kumar Vishwas and Alka Lamba and accused it of acting like a “puppet” of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The AAP made a clean sweep in the recently held Punjab elections and won 92 seats in the 117-member assembly.

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