‘Sidelined’ in BJP, Amritsar MP Navjot Sidhu may quit politics

Amritsar, Punjab: Chief Parliamentary Secretary Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu today hinted that her husband and three-time Amritsar MP Navjot Sidhu may quit politics in the coming days apparently due to raw treatment meted out to him in the political set up, particularly the BJP.

Dr Sidhu expressed her disillusionment with the political system in which her husband was “sidelined” due to his honest ways.

Talking to The Tribune on the phone from New Delhi, Dr Sidhu said she posted her comments on the Facebook after she was fed up with the whispers in the political circles that he had been ignoring his constituency.

“He left his family and a flourishing career to serve the people of Amritsar. He brought so many projects for the city but almost all of them were scuttled. He came up with the solid waste management project, which is now entangled in court cases. He fought for the start of various national and international flights at the Amritsar airport, but most of them were withdrawn,” she said, while alleging that various projects in Amritsar were being deliberately delayed.

Dr Sidhu said the BJP didn’t even allow him to have his own team in Amritsar where he had to contest the Lok Sabha elections. “How can we work here when all those who had contributed to the party’s defeat in the past have been taken into the team?” she wondered.

Dr Sidhu also hinted that this might also be her first and last innings in politics. She said she had joined politics only to assist her husband while her husband had joined politics only to serve the people. “He was happy working as a cricket expert/commentator where he was honoured for his work and also earned handsome money. We were already leading a five-star life and had a celebrity status,” she said.

She said Sidhu was away from politics now and he was not even talking about it. When asked whether it should be seen as his move towards quitting politics, she said: “You can take it as that”.

The cricketer-turned-politician was recently shown the door from the national executive body of the BJP by party president Rajnath Singh. Besides, his arch rival in the state unit Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina was inducted as the state vice-president.

Political observers feel that these two may be the immediate reasons which may have made him think on these lines.

Sidhu was not getting along well with Punjab Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, who has emerged as the key leader of the SAD in Majha region. They had engaged in a war of words during the local body elections last year after Sidhu had accused the SAD of not following the “coalition dharma”. Sidhu has been keeping away from Amritsar for the last few months and focusing on his career as cricket expert/commentator.

Vents ire on Facebook

Earlier, on Sunday night, Dr Navjot Sidhu had posted a status update on the Facebook, expressing her displeasure with the treatment meted out to her husband in the political arena. Her status update reads: AMRITSAR loses a real LEADER, who struggled to make the divine city BEAUTIFUL. I SALUTE HIM because TRUTH always WINS.

Sidhu could not be contacted for his comment.

Career graph

Navjot Sidhu took a plunge into politics by contesting on the BJP ticket against Congress heavyweight RL Bhatia in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. He defeated Bhatia by a handsome margin. Later, he quit in 2007 after he was convicted on the charges of culpable homicide. He contested again in February 2007 after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction. He defeated the then state Finance Minister Surinder Singla. In the 2009 LS poll, he defeated senior Congress leader OP Soni, though the margin came down to only around 7,000 votes. Though he had been in the politics for the last nine years, he never was a politician at heart.

Turning points

* The cricketer-turned-politician was recently ousted from the national executive body of BJP by party president Rajnath Singh

* Besides, his arch rival in the state unit Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina was inducted as the state vice-president

* Sidhu was not getting along well with Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia. They had engaged in a war of words during the local body elections last year

 

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