11/01/2017 7:20 PM IST | Updated 11/01/2017 7:26 PM IST

Navjot Singh Sidhu Will Join Congress Unconditionally, Says Amarinder Singh

Sidhu would be the party's candidate for Amritsar East.

The India Today Group via Getty Images

NEW DELHI -- Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said that former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu will join the party 'unconditionally' with 'no strings attached', and asserted that any decision on having a deputy chief minister in the state would be taken by party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

Addressing the media during the rejoining of former Congress leader Darbari Lal, Singh said Sidhu would be the party's candidate for Amritsar East.

The delay in his joining, said Captain Amarinder, was on account of his professional commitments, which he wanted to conclude before getting into the election gear.

On the reason for the delay in issuing remaining tickets, he said, the party's central leadership had five states to look after, which naturally led to some delays in the decision-making process.

He ruled out tickets for outsiders except where Congress did not have its own strong candidates.

On Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia's projection of Arvind Kejriwal as the Punjab chief ministerial candidate, Captain Amarinder said the Delhi chief minister's game-plan had been completely exposed and it was clear that he wanted to become the chief minister of Punjab without even contesting the polls.

"The people of Punjab will never hand over the reins of the state to a Haryanvi who could not be trusted to protect their interests," he said.

Rejecting Akali and AAP criticism of the Congress manifesto for the Punjab Assembly polls, Captain Amarinder said they could not be expected to appreciate the document.

"The manifesto, which had the stamp of approval of a world-renowned economist like Dr. Manmohan Singh, had been prepared by former Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal and former state deputy chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and was a perfect document, he added.

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