Navjot Sidhu was left with no option but to resign from Rajya Sabha?

Manjeet Sehgal
Manjeet SehgalJul 19, 2016 | 09:48

Navjot Sidhu was left with no option but to resign from Rajya Sabha?

Cricketer-turned-comedian and politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and his wife on July 18 surprised their adversaries, besides the BJP and its alliance partner Akali Dal, by suddenly resigning as Rajya Sabha MP and Punjab MLA respectively.

Sidhu's statement made it clear why he resigned. The former cricketer termed his Rajya Sabha membership as a burden which he wanted to offload.


"At the behest of the hon'ble prime minister, I had accepted the Rajya Sabha nomination for the welfare of Punjab. With the closure of every window leading to Punjab, the purpose stands defeated. It is now a mere burden. I prefer not to carry it. In the war of right or wrong, you cannot afford to be neutral rather than being self-centred. Punjab's interest is paramount," Sidhu said.

Navjot Singh Sidhu with his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu.

His wife, Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who was MLA and chief parliamentary secretary in Punjab, who according to sources had sent her resignation to Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal did not come out of her Holy City, Amritsar home and avoided the media. Her staff maintained that "madam" was heading to Delhi. However, the CID staff roaming outside her home confirmed that the doctor-turned-politician was at home.

Sidhu's decision has left the BJP high and dry as it was eyeing power in the state. Sidhu is not only the party's only Sikh face in Punjab but also a star campaigner.

It was not immediately known where the Sidhus were heading to. Sources close to the AAP said the couple may join the AAP which has been sending feelers to them since the past year.


"We will welcome him with open arms if he joins our party," AAP MP Bhagwant Mann said.

However, sources close to the Sidhus said they may not join the AAP immediately and will announce the decision later. Sidhu and the AAP leaders had earlier maintained that he had no plans to join the party which was trying to capitalise on the weaknesses of the Congress and Akali Dal.

Sidhu's resignation has come at a time when the AAP was facing the challenge of finding a suitable candidate for chief minister's post.

The Sidhus were not happy with the way their own party, the BJP, had ignored them. While Navjot Kaur had announced an open war against the Badals on the issue of development in her constituency, Navjot Singh Sidhu was denied a Lok Sabha ticket in 2014.

Sidhu's resignation does not come as a surprise: Capt Amarinder

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Captain Amarinder Singh on July 18 said that Sidhu's resignation from the Rajya Sabha was already a foregone conclusion as he had been left with little options.

"With someone in his situation pushed to the wall by the Akalis and his own party, the BJP, maintaining a conniving silence, Sidhu was left with little option other than resigning", he said.


"Sidhu may have resigned from the Rajya Sabha only today, but we all know he had virtually withdrawn from active politics for a long time and he is left with only a token presence in the BJP now", he said, while adding that Sidhu's resignation, therefore, from the Rajya Sabha, and may be even from the BJP sooner than later, does not come as a surprise.

Given the treatment meted out to him and his wife by the Akalis, the alliance partners of the BJP, Sidhu's continuance within the party (the BJP) defies all logic, the PCC president observed.

Last updated: July 19, 2016 | 09:48
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