Is Sidhu joining AAP? BJP on the edge in Punjab

Vipin Pubby
Vipin PubbyApr 03, 2016 | 21:59

Is Sidhu joining AAP? BJP on the edge in Punjab

Navjot Singh Sidhu and his namesake wife have many things in common unlike the different middle name of Singh and Kaur and have an uncanny ability to complement and supplement each other.

The better half's All Fools' Day post on her Facebook page that she had finally quit the BJP and that her "burden is over" was one of the trademark shoot and scoot tactics she had been employing ever since she quit as a government doctor and jumped into politics five years ago.

Even as social media was abuzz with speculations that she, along with her husband, may have finally broken off with the BJP, and the media sought to get more details from her, she vanished with surgical precision. Even four days after the one liner, she has not elaborated on her remark and has gone incommunicado.

Her motormouth husband, former India Test opener, too has ducked the media and has let the speculations go for a six. Their silence is, to say the least, deafening.

More so because the biggest mystery in Amritsar, where the couple now resides, is who might be having the last word in any (god forbid) argument between the two. The Ki cannot only match but outdo the Ka in a verbal match!

The former member of Parliament and comedy kingmaker Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has mysteriously gone silent and disappeared from public view had been giving ample hints of his disenchantment with the BJP and an inclination to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is looking for a Sikh face to lead its campaign for the Assembly elections in Punjab less than a year away.

Sidhu may also suit the AAP, but is bound to face stiff resistance from the existing AAP leaders. 

He had declined to re-contest the Lok Sabha elections from the Amritsar constituency which had left the seat open for Arun Jaitely who subsequently lost to former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh. It's quite possible that Sidhu had sensed his defeat if he were to contest from the constituency, partly because of his spat with the alliance partners Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

He has been particularly crossing sword with Bikram Singh Majithia, powerful brother-in-law of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal who also hails from the same area.

Subsequently, he had also declared that he would not campaign for the BJP until it breaks away from the SAD. It was a condition which was not acceptable to either the BJP leaders or Badals. There have been reports of senior BJP leaders trying to placate him by offering some Central post.

Sidhu is reported to have met some BJP leaders in Delhi but the outcome is still a guarded secret. The reports are that the couple had together met the leaders for a last ditch attempt to remain in the party.

It is certainly not the first time that Kaur, a BJP MLA, has given sleepless nights to the media and the party workers with her sharp comments and actions. Even as a first time MLA, she had staked claim to a Cabinet berth in the coalition government headed by the veteran Parkash Singh Badal but could not be accommodated owing to stronger claims by some other senior party leaders. She was, however, accommodated as a chief parliamentary secretary (CPS), which is a post equivalent to that of a minister with all the perks, including vehicles and police escort, but sans any ministerial powers.

While this is a rather ceremonial post to placate those who aspire to be ministers, she had been making waves by raiding government hospitals and dispensaries and issuing statements much to the embarrassment of her party and the government.

Sidhu, the former MP, who has been taking jokes on himself on his chin, has a good reputation as far as personal integrity is concerned (although he has been through a murder charge in his hometown Patiala and was later acquitted).

He may also suit the AAP, but is bound to face stiff resistance from the existing AAP leaders who are eying the top post if the party wrests power in the state. Much would depend on how he humours them if he finally takes the plunge. One is yet to hear the last word on the Sidhus.

Last updated: April 04, 2016 | 16:53
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