It's run out for Sidhu on Punjab's political pitch

The verbose Awaaz-e-Punjab leader has plummeted rapidly into a weightless space.

 |  2-minute read |   21-09-2016
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It looks like former batsman Navjot Singh Sidhu is run out on Punjab's volatile political pitch. In public perception, the former MP fell short of the Punjabiyat crease he drew.

His announcement to play second-fiddle to like-minded groups illustrates the flamboyant cricketer read the writing on the wall sooner than expected.

Shunned by Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, Sidhu floated his Awaaz-e-Punjab to invoke Punjabi and Sikh identity in a state where the matter holds a high sentimental value for the majority of its people.

sidhu-sherry-reuters_092116063458.jpg Sacked AAP convenor Sucha Singh Chhotepur has dropped hints he might rope Sidhu in to form another political front in Punjab. 

Except for his characteristic Sidhuisms, the former BJP lawmaker was unable to back up the idea of the "Voice of Punjab" with a loud and clear blue-print to realise the notion.

In the past days, he was largely seen as a BJP/RSS plant, a baggage he didn't strive to shed in his supposed new avatar. "We will not play spoilsport and instead facilitate the Punjab election. We shall not confuse the people of Punjab but give them clarity to vote in Punjab's interest," Sidhu said in a statement Wednesday. 

The 53-year-old commentator admitted, inadvertently though, that he had been trying to confuse Punjab's voters. He apparently skipped admitting he failed in his tactic. 

Punjab, especially its predominant Sikh population, has called his bluff. His namesake wife, who proclaims herself to be her husband's shadow, is still a member of the BJP. Sidhu himself has hardly been harsh on his former party. Nor has he been too critical about the sectarian politics of the hardliners in the Sangh. 

A big population of the Sikhs of Punjab and elsewhere are no votaries of majoritarianism that many in the RSS espouse. His Punjabi origins, Jat credentials and popularity aside, Sidhu is not a darling of the Panthak bloc, devout, practising Sikhs. This group nurses a strong anathema for Brahmanical rituals the ex-Amritsar MP embraces publicly. 

Sacked AAP convenor Sucha Singh Chhotepur has already dropped hints he might rope Sidhu in to form another political front in Punjab. Overall, a heavyweight in his own right in Punjab because of his sporting and celebrity background, the verbose Awaaz-e-Punjab leader has plummeted rapidly into a weightless space. 

He's following the maxim: if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Writer

Harmeet Shah Singh Harmeet Shah Singh @harmeetss

The writer is Editor with India Today TV.

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