With BJP bosses in the national capital making it clear that the party will stick with its alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab and contest the 2017 assembly polls together, BJP leader and chief parliamentary secretary Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu and her cricketer-turned-politician husband Navjot Singh Sidhu have decided to stay away from the election campaign.
In an interview to Hindustan Times, Dr Sidhu terms the SAD-BJP alliance “not good” for Punjab and its people. The CPS also dropps hints that she might be on her way out and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) could be her next destination.
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With BJP bosses in the national capital making it clear that the party will stick with its alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab and contest the 2017 assembly polls together, BJP leader and chief parliamentary secretary Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu and her cricketer-turned-politician husband Navjot Singh Sidhu have decided stay away from the election campaign.
In an interview to Hindustan Times, Dr Sidhu termed the SAD-BJP alliance ‘not good’ for Punjab and its people. The CPS also dropped enough hints that she might be on her way out and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) could be her next destination. Here are the excerpts:
HT: BJP has decided to stay with SAD, where do you see yourself now?
Dr Sidhu: It’s a decision of the party and I respect it. We had apprised them (party bosses) of the ground reality, but if they have still decided to stay with the SAD, then they must have a good reason to do so. However, my decision and stand is very clear. Nobody from the Sidhu family will campaign for the Akali-BJP alliance in polls.
HT: Are you going to contest the 2017 poll?
Dr Sidhu: I will definitely contest the polls, but won’t represent the SAD-BJP alliance. Politics is not over for me, it has just started. As the party has made its stand clear, we, too, have the right to take our own decisions. I will reveal my next course of action in the days to come. I will have to look for better options that are in interest of Punjab and its people. My husband Navjot Sidhu will also not contest or take any campaign responsibility till the alliance is on with Akali Dal. He did not campaign even for Jaitley, why would he do it now?
HT: Do you feel the SAD-BJP alliance is good for Punjab?
Dr Sidhu: No. I feel there are so many gaps and BJP workers are demoralised. In this scenario, how can things work? This time, many BJP leaders openly showed their anger against the Akalis to the high command . The party leadership, however, seems to be looking at a broader picture. They must have thought that the BJP is not in a position to contest alone. Had only the SAD thought about BJP workers, things wouldn’t have turned so ugly? Now, there is no point making a compromise at a higher level when things are not at all working at the ground-level.
HT: There are speculations that you are joining AAP. What’s your take?
Dr Sidhu: I donlt have to say anything about it right now. But one thing is sure that I can’t represent the SAD-BJP alliance. However, I have to contest the polls. So, I will have to move on. I have to look for people who are honestly working for the betterment of Punjab.
HT: Do you feel people are happy with the alliance and will vote for them?
Dr Sidhu: One can clearly see that people are frustrated and unhappy. It is evident in number of dharnas and protests being organised against the government. This has raised a big question mark over our governance and sadly the state government has failed to find any solution.
HT: There are talks doing the rounds your husband could be elevated as the Punjab BJP chief. What’s your take?
Dr Sidhu: We have always said that whenever the party calls us and gives any responsibility, we will be more than happy to accept it. But the BJP has now decided to stay with the SAD. So, we can’t make fool of people by sharing stage with the Akali Dal.
HT: Do you feel the party has done injustice with you?
Dr Sidhu: No, not all. My husband was given the ticket thrice and I was given once. I feel the party has been fair to us.