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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Navjot Singh Sidhu won't campaign in Punjab: wife

Aseem Bassi, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, March 28, 2014
First Published: 23:16 IST(28/3/2014) | Last Updated: 14:52 IST(29/3/2014)

Even as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Arun Jaitley has said that sitting MP Navjot Singh Sidhu will campaign for him for this Lok Sabha seat, the latter's wife sees no possibility.

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Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, former cricketer's wife and legislator from Amritsar East, said here on Friday that her husband, whom the party had denied ticket, would not campaign in Punjab because of rift with the Akalis.

The chief parliamentary secretary who had assured full support to Jaitley on Friday when the leader had visited her house, later, said: "Why would my husband come to campaign. It is no secret that the Akalis dislike him."

Dr Sidhu said she would campaign hard for the victory of Arun Jaitley from her constituency but her husband would not. "We don't want any embarrassment or rift during the elections. His coming to Punjab may have negative impact," she added.

Sidhu had campaigned for senior party leader Nitin Gadkari, said Dr Navjot Kaur, adding: "He will do for even (Narendra) Modi Sahib but not come to Punjab." The party sidelined Sidhu reportedly under pressure from the Badals, state's ruling family. A few days ago, thought, he campaigned in Nagpur for Gadkari.

Ever since Jaitley has got ticket, the sitting MP is missing from the campaign, doing cricket commentary in Bangladesh during the T20 World Cup. Asked why he had been dropped from Amritsar, Jaitley had said: "It was Sidhu who persuaded me to contest."

He had said that Sidhu would campaign for him but the outburst of Dr Sidhu shows it isn't going to happen. Sidhu won three national elections from Amritsar to later go against the Badals over the dumping of his pet projects for the constituency. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) lobbied with the BJP high command to not play him this time.

With the Congress supporters mobilised, Sidhu's joining would have helped the BJP campaign. But disagreements with state revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia and party colleagues Anil Joshi have ruled out the crowd puller from the campaign.

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