After the SAD-BJP meeting and reiteration of their “solid” alliance, chances of former cricketer and three-time ex-MP of the BJP, Navjot Singh Sidhu, getting a prominent role in saffron party look bleak. Sidhu was reportedly in talks with the Aam Aadmi Party too, which is looking for a further spike in its fast-rising popularity graph in Punjab.
BJP national president Amit Shah was earlier said to be interested in Sidhu getting a role in the Punjab unit, but sources said the party leadership was doing a rethink on the issue as promoting him would mean antagonising the Akalis by wading into “Jat politics”. Sidhu is known to be anti-Badal and has in fact brandished this as a positive aspect of his political persona even in the Haryana polls where the SAD and BJP were on opposite sides.
Meanwhile, #Sidhu4Punjab was among the top trends or topics in India on social networking and microblogging website Twitter. Many of the tweets were from pro-BJP Twitter handles, some of which are even followed by ministers and state BJP units.
Sidelined, a sulking Sidhu so far has conveyed to the party leadership that he would not play any pro-active role in the 2017 polls if the party continues with an alliance with the Akalis. His wife Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, an MLA of the BJP from Amritsar-East, has recently even gone on to say that people should vote for the AAP if the BJP and SAD fought the 2017 Punjab elections together. It must be recalled that AAP supremo and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal too had said that Sidhu was welcome in the party.