Navjot Sidhu’s political career remains the same as his career in cricket
Sidhu resigned from the Cabinet in 2019 after a disagreement with Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.Author : Avneet Kaur
Navjot Singh Sidhu started his political journey in 2004 by joining BJP on the inspiration of senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley. Sidhu had contested from Amritsar Lok Sabha seat and defeated senior Congress leader Raghunandan Lal Bhatia by 1,09,532 votes. Sidhu had resigned from the Lok Sabha before the Supreme Court ruled in the Patiala case of an involuntary murder case.
Later, Sidhu contested the by poll from Amritsar Lok Sabha in 2007 after the Supreme Court allowed him to contest. In this election, he defeated Congress Finance Minister Surinder Singla. In 2009, Sidhu defeated O P Soni of Congress party to reach Parliament for the third time. In 2014, the BJP did not give a ticket to Sidhu. He was later made a member of the Rajya Sabha by the BJP but Sidhu resigned from the Rajya Sabha and joined the Congress in 2017.
With the formation of the Congress government, Sidhu was made the Local Government Minister. Sidhu resigned from the Cabinet in 2019 after a disagreement with Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.
Navjot Singh Sidhu has an old association with controversies as a player and as a politician. As a player, Sidhu refused to play under the captaincy of Mohammad Azharuddin and returned back to India during England tour. While representing BJP, Sidhu always put pressure on the party to break the alliance with the Akali Dal. When Arun Jaitley came from Amritsar to contest at the behest of the Badals in 2014, Sidhu never appeared with his political guru for campaigning.
After his joining the Congress party in 2019, Sidhu remarked to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh that he was the Captain of Punjab but his (Sidhu's) Captain was Rahul Gandhi. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Sidhu had opened the front during the election campaign in Bathinda by claiming 75-25 shares in the business of the Captain and the Badals. After losing five seats in the Lok Sabha, the captain reshuffled the portfolios of cabinet ministers. The Local Government Department was withdrawn from Sidhu in protest of which he had resigned from the post of Cabinet Minister.
With the change of captaincy of the state president, political equations in the state will also set to change. With the divide between Sidhu and Captain deepening, the focus will now be on how the two leaders will work together in a state going to assembly polls in about six months.
(By Dinesh Sharma)