Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday publicly apologised to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his past remarks about him, terming him both "a Sardar and also Asardar (effective)".
Speaking at the 84th Congress Plenary session, 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 (silence) has done, the noise made by BJP could not do so.”
"I realised it (about UPA's achievements) after 10 years, Sir. But, you will say it is better late than never. I wish to say something about your silence," said Sidhu and went on to recite an Urdu couplet: "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 what their spread wings indicate/But the actions of those who remain silent ring around the world).
When he was a BJP MP, Sidhu had called Manmohan Singh "a pappu PM" and that he may be a "sardar" but he was not "asardar".
Lauding the Congress veteran, Sidhu said the economy galloped like an Arabian horse under his watch as the prime minister. Whereas, he said, under the BJP's rule, the economy is moving at the pace of a tortoise.
“Sir, you worked hard silently in such a way that your success created an uproar. Sir, you are a Sardar and also asardar (effective),” a comment which had former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and senior party leader Ashok Gehlot, who flanked Singh, giggling.
Sidhu also hailed former party president Sonia Gandhi, party president Rahul Gandhi and Congress workers in his speech.
He said Rahul Gandhi is set to unfurl the tricolour from the ramparts of the Red Fort after becoming the country's prime minister post the 2019 general election.
Hailing Congress workers, Sidhu likened them to Sikandar (Greek emperor Alexander the Great) and said the party cannot be what it is without them.
“If the Congress has lost, it may be due to some leaders, but you are the ones who help win (elections) friends. Sikandar (workers) does not bow before the situation...the workers are soul, life and identity of the party,” he added.
(With IANS, PTI inputs)