Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday apologised to Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his past comments mocking the latter as the BJP MP. Speaking at the concluding day of the AICC plenary session in Delhi, Sidhu, now a minister in the Congress government of Punjab, said that his ‘maun‘ (silence) was more effective than the noise of BJP.
Sidhu said, “I want to apologise to Sardar Manmohan Singh with my head hanging down… I want to say that Sardar Manmohan Singh, what your maun has done, the noise made by BJP could not do so. I realised this after 10 years, sir.”
As BJP MP, Sidhu had called Manmohan Singh a ‘pappu PM,’ who was a “sardar” but not “asardar (effective)”. However, on Sunday, Sidhu was full of remorse and said that ‘it is better late than never. I wish to say something about your silence.’
“Parindon ki manzil milegi hamesha, yeh phaile huye unke pankh bolte hain/Wohi log rehte khamosh aksar, zamane mein jinke hunar bolte hain (That birds will find their destination, this is their wings strewn about indicate/But the actions of those who remain silent ring around the world),” Sidhu was quoted by IANS.
Showering praises on Singh, Sidhu said that the economy galloped like an Arabian horse under his watch as the Prime Minister. Whereas, he added, under the BJP’s rule, the economy is moving at the pace of a tortoise.
Sir, you can become an astrologer, you had predicted a two per cent fall in GDP and it did. And during your time, economy was galloping like a ‘Arabi ghoda’ (Arabian horse). Now the GDP is growing at the pace of a tortoise. BJP people should listen. An Arabi ghoda can become weak and old, but is much better than a pack of donkeys.”
His comments left several senior leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Ashok Gehlot giggling. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation announcement, Singh had predicted that the economy will shrink by at least two percent because of the ill-conceived economic policy by Modi. Months later, he was proven right as the GDP’s growth slowed down by exactly two percent.
Sidhu had joined the Congress just before the 2017 assembly elections. A former MP from Punjab’s Amritsar, the cricketer-turned-politician was instrumental in scripting the historic win for the Congress in early 2017.