New Delhi: After many flip-flops former cricketer turned politician turned comedian, Navjot Singh Sidhu, has finally joined Congress party in the presence of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. This finally ends the suspense that was surrounding Siddhu after he left the BJP last year.
Earlier his entry into Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) looked certain before his left the negotiations as he wanted to be the chief ministerial face of the nascent Delhi based political party. With his exit from AAP scene, the political prospects of Kejriwal’s party have come down in the state bordering Pakistan.
The 58-year-old Sidhu had quit the BJP in September 2016, complaining that he had been sidelined. He was a BJP MP from Amritsar and claims that he was asked to vacate the seat for BJP leader Arun Jaitley who was badly defeated by Captain Amrinder Singh who is the Congress party’s chief ministerial candidate.
Following the formal induction of the mercurial cricketer by Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, “INC welcomes S.Navjot Singh Sidhu & thanks Rahul Gandhiji for bringing likeminded leaders under the Congress umbrella”.
Reports suggest that former cricketer came on board after lengthy negotiations and several rounds of meetings with Rahul Gandhi. Sources said that he would be given the Amritsar seat -over which he had quit the BJP – and one ticket per family for some of his supporters. Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur who was health minister in Prakash Singh Badal government in the state has already been fielded as a candidate, but the constituency is yet to be decided.
Assembly elections are set to be held in single phase in Punjab on February 4, in which the Congress, which has been out of power for a decade, has been hoping for big gains. Captain Singh, who is leading the Congress campaign in the state and was said to have been unenthusiastic about having Mr Sidhu on board, had denied the rumours and said he was expected to campaign for the party.
While Sidhu camp has been claiming that the former cricketer has been assured of Depty CM post, Captain Amrinder Singh supporters have denied it. Captain has said a decision will be taken by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Mr Gandhi at an “appropriate time”.