Cricketer-turned-BJP leader Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned on Monday from Rajya Sabha, to which he was nominated by the government in April, pointing out that “in the war of right or wrong, you can’t afford to be neutral.” His wife Navjyot Kaur Sidhu, a BJP MLA and chief parliamentary secretary in Punjab, also resigned with him.
Navjot Singh Sidhu is reportedly joining the AAP, which is actively campaigning for the polls in Punjab next year.
The former cricketer, who had represented Amritsar in Lok Sabha between 2004 and 2014, was unhappy with the BJP’s alliance with the SAD. He had said on record that he would not campaign for his party for the Punjab Assembly polls next year unless it severed its ties with the Akalis.
His views were reflected in a brief statement on his resignation that he made: “At the behest of the honorable PM, 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 can’t afford to be neutral rather than being self-centered. Punjab’s interest is paramount.”
Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari informed the Upper House about Sidhu’s resignation which was accepted with immediate effect.
AAP leaders Sucha Singh Chotepur, Sanjay Singh and Lok Sabha MP Bhagwant Singh Mann greeted the Sidhus with enthusiasm. Chotepur tweeted: “Appreciate Navjot Sidhu and Dr. Navjot Kaur Sidhu Move, looking forward for their Welcome to @AAPPunjab2017.”
Sanjay Singh said: “You can expect that Navjot Singh Sidhu will join the side of ‘dharma’ in the fight against ‘adharma’.”
Sidhu was cross with the BJP for fielding Arun Jaitley from Amritsar in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, which he lost miserably. He refused to campaign for his party. Further, Sidhu was miffed with the Akali leadership
Meanwhile Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal washed dishes at the Golden Temple as penitence for “unintentional mistakes,” His party’s youth manifesto had put the images of the Golden Temple and the party symbol, the broom, together on a page.