Punjab Chief Minister on Navjot Sidhu’s “Wet Pants” jibe

Chief Minister Charanjit Channi speaking at an event at the Punjab armed police compound


The question of who scares whom to get their pants dirty – police or criminals – is now the subject of a surreal back-and-forth between the Chief Minister of Punjab Charanjit Channi and the head of the State Congress Navjot Sidhu, whose feud is brewing even with an Assembly election due in two months.

Mr. Channi fired back after Mr. Sidhu boasted last month that MP Navtej Singh Cheema could “get a policeman’s pants wet.” Mr Channi urged the police not to bother with the comment and assured them that it was in fact criminals who wet their pants when they saw them.

“Those who are criminals and anti-social elements (…) their pants get wet when they see a Punjab police officer,” the chief minister said during a reception at the Punjab armed police complex (PAP ).

Mr Channi’s reply comes after Navjot Sidhu’s statement during a campaign event in Kapurthala district.

For good measure, the former Indian cricketer then repeated his ‘Navtej Cheema can do a’thanedar“A policeman wet his pants” remarked during a rally in Batala, Punjab.

When asked by reporters about his remark, Mr. Sidhu said it should not be taken literally. He said it was a way of saying that Congress “exercises authority”.


Navjot Sidhu was heavily criticized for commenting on police officers (File)

The controversial remark sparked furious protests from all quarters, including from Mr. Sidhu’s party, which was quick to denounce him to potentially stop the bleeding of votes.

Ravneet Singh Bittu, the MP for Ludhiana in Punjab, supported the state police personnel and praised them for their handling of terrorist activity and COVID-19.

“First of all, whatever anyone said about the police, I apologize …” he said, adding: “” How will they protect people if we use the wrong words against them…”

Former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh – a Congress veteran for over 40 years who quit the party after a bitter public feud with Mr Sidhu (and is now allied with the BJP) – also struck, as did the leader of ‘Akali Dal Daljit Singh, who had questioned the silence of the chief minister on the remark “wet pants”.

Chandigarh DSP Dilsher Singh Chandal filed a libel complaint against Mr. Sidhu for “police humiliation”, and a video message from a young policeman, Deputy Inspector Balbir Singh of Jalandhar, was widely broadcast; “our children are asking why such language is used against us …” he said in the clip.

With the contribution of ANI, PTI

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