Married to India's modern day renaissance man, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu (Yes, their bond extends to sharing the same name) is following her heart to his vocation - politics.
The gynaecologist wife of the former cricket star - who is also the BJP MP from Amritsar (thrice now), a cricket commentator, judge of comic talent on a TV show and the progenitor of punchlines known as Sidhuisms - has quit her government job of 24 years to be the BJP candidate for the Amritsar East seat. The couple speaks to HT on their variegated journey and political goals. Excerpts:
How tough is the transition from being a doctor to politics?
It is very tough. I never wanted it initially and my husband also refused. But it was the party that always wanted me and made me realise that here also I can do the sewa (service) that doctors do.
I am here for the common man. Life has given me a lot, I just want to pay back now. Being in politics, I can better connect with people and serve them. Working to solve their problems and facelift of my constituency are key agendas.
Will you borrow some Sidhuisms from your husband?
I like Sidhuisms, but kabhi kabhi jyada ho jata hai. At times, Sidhuisms dominate the speech and the real agenda takes a back seat. No Sidhuisms for me. I have my own ideas to connect with people. Being a doctor, I have additional sensitivity.
With similar names, do you face identity issues?
Yes. In government offices, when I tell my name, they say, "Madam apna naam batao". This happens a lot at immigration counters too.
How do you see BJP faring in the current political scenario in the state?
There was time when people had written off BJP. But take my word, "BJP sarkar banayegi yaa dhaegi (BJP will make or break the government)." This is one party which hardly has any rebel factor to contend with and is connected to the urban people. The BJP will touch double figures in the coming polls and will be a major partner. We will easily win 10 to 15 seats.
Being in-charge of campaign committee, will you be able to do justice with other constituencies as your wife is also contesting?
For me all 23 constituencies (ally Shiromani Akali Dal is contesting the other 94 seats) are the same. I am already accompanying BJP candidates for filing nomination papers. The party comes first, wife later. I am barely going to her constituency.
You have been in politics since 2004, and now your wife is in the fray…?
Politics happened to us when we were planning other things. Politics is not a profession but a mission for us and the only objective we see is to work for people. My wife's presence in politics will improve me and also make my name bigger because she has better vision than me.
How do you complement each other?
She is the truest person around me. Sycophants applaud your mistakes too. My wife has always said it on my face whenever I have been on the wrong footing. It has been a perfect companionship.
Husband and wife in politics... Who looks after the children and house?
Being children of a cricketer, my son (Karan, 22) and daughter (Rabia, 17) are very independent. They are still away and studying in Delhi. So that's not an issue for us.