Sidhu has quit the BJP, will not return: Wife

by Wade Massey July 24, 2016, 7:28
Sidhu has quit the BJP, will not return: Wife

Offering the sulking Sidhu a Rajya Sabha seat was an attempt to placate his nerves that remained frayed ever since BJP nominated Jaitley for the Amritsar seat.

AAP sources in Punjab said that Sidhu, a Jat Sikh, would solve the party's problem of leadership in the State where the political momentum is with it. "He is a candidate without any baggage, a typical leader of the AAP variety", said a source.

According to reports, Navjot Singh Sidhu and his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu were disappointed with BJP forming an alliance with Akali Dal in Punjab State. However, if anybody who wants to join the AAP, they have to become an aam aadmi first. Sidhu said he had accepted the Rajya Sabha nomination at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AAP is expected to declare Sidhu party's chief campaigner in the Punjab Assembly elections due next year.

Sidhu was denied the Lok Sabha ticket for the Amritsar parliamentary seat during the April-May general election in 2014. The former cricketer termed his Rajya Sabha membership as a burden which he wanted to offload. "Punjab's interest is paramount", said the former cricketer-turned politician, who had represented Amritsar in the Lok Sabha between 2004 and 2014.

It is a matter of time before he meets with Kerjriwal in a few days to discuss his agenda with AAP in Punjab. "He has a clean image and is known for the good work he has done in his constituency", said a senior AAP leader, on condition of anonymity. With witty repartee and strong anti-Badal credentials, Sidhu has the potential to counter the perception that only Amarinder Singh is worthy of being Punjab's "Captain".

Kejriwal called him a "nice" man, adding "definitely the party (AAP) should give it a thought". "He was shaken when he found himself left out", said a prominent Delhi BJP leader, requesting anonymity. The Delhi based party had shaved off 8% of SAD and a little over 7% of Congress' vote share from the 2012 assembly election.

Political analysts told The Hindu that Mr. Sidhu's decision is a setback for BJP as the party will lose a State-level leader.

Navjot Kaur, who has been vocal against her own government on various issues in the past including development issues, said the stage is over when there can be any rethink by Sidhu on his decision.

There is also "possibility of a revolt in the AAP, if the party projects a chief ministerial candidate" before the Punjab polls, they said.

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