Punjab Assembly polls: In Test cricket mode, Navjot Singh Sidhu treads cautiously, waits for winner in state

By: | Updated: August 30, 2016 2:10 PM

Navjot Singh Sidhu is in Test cricket mode these days in Punjab. Like a seasoned cricketer, he is treading cautiously and silently without reacting to those who wants his 'wicket' badly.

With Arvind Kejriwal refusing to name BJP rebel Navjot Singh Sidhu as the AAP’s chief ministerial candidate from Punjab, the cricketer-turned-politician is in a dilemma over his next move. (Reuters)With Arvind Kejriwal refusing to name BJP rebel Navjot Singh Sidhu as the AAP’s chief ministerial candidate from Punjab, the cricketer-turned-politician is in a dilemma over his next move. (Reuters)

Navjot Singh Sidhu is in Test cricket mode these days in Punjab. Like a seasoned cricketer, he is treading cautiously and silently without reacting to those who want his ‘wicket’ badly. It seems he is waiting for that one loose ball he can hit across the rope and save the last smile for himself. Here that loose ball will come in the form of a party which will have to be the winner. If Sidhu is not thinking about quitting politics, he will certainly join that winner. And he will know that in advance.

The former cricketer has so far refused to reveal his choice of a political party while the heat of Assembly elections in the state continues to grow intense. Interestingly, none of the political parties in Punjab wants to disown him. While the BJP has avoided making any comments against Sidhu, who recently resigned from the party, the Congress is trying to woo him even as the AAP claims that the cricketer-turned-politician is in talks to join Arvind Kejriwal’s party.

Recently, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh had suggested that his party was in the DNA of Sidhu as the latter’s father has been a Congress member for long. But Sidhu did not react to his offer. Only yesterday, the former cricketer’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who is also a BJP MLA in the state, reacted on the Congress’ proposal. “How can Congress be an alternative for us? If you talk about honesty, if you are asking for a change in Punjab, to save Punjab, then you certainly cannot place Amarinder Singh at that position,” she told NDTV.

The Sidhu couple has been in the BJP for several years. When Sidhu resigned from the BJP recently, there were speculations that the former cricketer would join AAP and may even be the party’s CM candidate. However, the speculations died as he went into ‘Test cricket mode’, perhaps to find out when to strike; when to announce his choice.

Suddenly political tides are changing in Punjab. The treatment meted out to veteran politician and one of the men behind the spread of AAP in Punjab, Sucha Singh Chhotepur, by his own party and the growing local outcry of how outsiders from Haryana and UP can rule Punjab, have made the Congress more optimistic than ever.

Chottepur’s outbursts against Kejriwal has dented AAP’s prospects further. He once even called Kejriwal and his team from Delhi “anti-Sikh”, something that may not let the AAP story be the same in the state, that it has been till now.

While the Congress has started looking towards the green, Sidhu would disclose his choice only when he would know how intense is that green.

 

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