His sportsmanship refuses to down die. During his cricketing career, he always came up with a hard-hitting knock.
As his political opponents, including those from within his party fold, continue to debate on his political future, BJP MP from Amritsar Navjot Singh Sidhu has once again come forward to express his affection for Amritsar and its people.
“There will be no swapping of Sidhu,” he declared in his characteristic style during a cricket match at Gandhi Grounds -- where he played many innings for his home state, Punjab, in Ranji Trophy matches -- during an informal talk on Monday.
The statement assumes significance at a time when there is much talk of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) swapping the Amritsar seat with the Jalandhar (reserve) Lok Sabha seat with the BJP.
“I can only talk about myself and say that there will be no swapping as far as Navjot Singh Sidhu is concerned. As an individual, I can comment on myself and say that I am here to stay. Amritsar is my ‘karam bhoomi’ and will remain so as it has given me a lot,” he said.
Though Sidhu did not say it clearly whether he would contest the next Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar, he dropped ample hints stating he had no plans to quit his karam bhoomi.
“I took on chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and did not mellow down until I got a written assurance from him on the completion of developmental projects of Amritsar in a time-bound manner,” said Sidhu.
On state BJP chief Kamal Sharma’s recent views that the party was considering swapping seats with its alliance partner, the SAD, Sidhu stated, “This issue can only be decided at the party level.”
A similar viewpoint was also expressed by deputy chief minister and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal at the Golden Temple complex.
Lavishes praise on Tendulkar:
Showering praise on cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, Sidhu said, “There will never be another Tendulkar. He is a role model for everybody. He is a highly-gifted cricketer. In his 24-year long international career, he had amassed runs, created records but still remains humble,” he added.
Later, Sidhu distributed prizes to the players who had participated in the inter-zonal Airport Authority of India (AAI) cricket tournament, which concluded on Monday.