'Habitual stroke master' Sidhu surprises again

| Updated: Jul 19, 2016 20:08 IST

By Ravinder Singh Robin Amritsar, July 19 (ANI): Former cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has once again sprung a surprise by resigning his membership of Rajya Sabha, and for practical purposes from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This, however, is not the first time that he has resorted to such resignation dramas. His unavailability and silence on whether he plans to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or any other political outfit, has put everyone in a quandary. A three time Member of Parliament from Amritsar, Sidhu has won elections every time with the active support of BJP ally, the Shiromani Akali Dal (B). The relationship has turned sour in the wake of Sidhu targeting the SAD for not meeting his objective of giving him prominence in state politics. He did not even support Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley whom he considers his `political guru' when he contested the 2014 general elections from Amritsar. Jaitley was surprised by the political backstabbing of his pupil who reportedly felt slighted at not being given a BJP ticket to contest elections from Amritsar. At present, a less familiar face, Shawet Malik, has been nominated as the Rajya Sabha Member from Amritsar. When he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha, Sidhu felt that he would be given a berth in the Union Cabinet, but when S S Ahluwalia was chosen instead of him, Sidhu started cribbing that he was the right claimant. It is a well known fact that both he and his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who is an MLA and Chief Parliamentary Secretary in the Punjab government, have spoken out against the BJP senior leadership and the SAD (Badal). All eyes will now be on the 2017 assembly elections in Punjab, and who can be more opportunistic than Sidhu. It is only to be expected that Sidhu would want to maximize his opportunities from the elections, or alternatively, may wait for the BJP to placate and console him with promises of giving him something `big'. Reports suggest that he may want the AAP to declare him as its chief ministerial candidate, but the latter is not willing to bite this bullet, given the resistance from other Punjab leaders. It seems to be a win-win situation for Sidhu. This laughter master and former cricketer knows that he is positioned crucially at this juncture vis-a-vis Punjab politics. (ANI)