Leaving the final Lok Sabha candidature decision to the party high command, Amritsar parliamentarian Navjot Singh Sidhu still wants to fight only from Amritsar.
The district BJP leaders had gathered on Monday to pitch for senior leader Arun Jaitley as the Bharatitya Janata Party contender from here in place of three-time winner Sidhu. On Tuesday, the cricketer-turned politician declined to react to it, saying: "Jaitley Sahib is my guru and if he wants to contest from Amritsar, he is most welcome; but don't ask me to go somewhere else."
The MP said he did not want to react to the "views of a few BJP leaders and their press conference". "To me, the party is supreme. For it, I can sacrifice everything but my character. I cannot run away from Amritsar and contest from some other place. I have told this to the party repeatedly and I will stick to my stand forever."
Sidhu said he had won three elections on people's trust and today was committed to them. Senior party leaders had sent him feelers recently to shift.
Press conference created rift: CPS
A day after a few BJP leaders led by cabinet minister Anil Joshi raised the demand of fielding senior leader Arun Jaitley from Amritsar, the sitting MP's wife, chief parliamentary secretary Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, said on Tuesday that the sudden press conference had divided the party.
"Many BJP leaders and workers came to us on Tuesday and resented the way a certain group had started playing games to downsize Sidhu even before the final decision (on the Amritsar seat)," said Dr Sidhu.
Claiming she had no objection to the candidature of Arun Jaitley, the CPS Sidhu said it was for the party to decide but all should wait for the decision.
The wife of the Amritsar MP also alleged that a certain lobby in the constituency was working against Navjot Singh Sidhu. "What happened on Monday had the backing of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). I just want to ask the Punjab BJP leaders if the Akalis had sought their consent before picking own candidates. Why does the BJP want an advice from them?" she added.
Anil Joshi had claimed in his press conference that the chief minister and the deputy CM also wanted Jaitley as the alliance candidate from Amritsar.
Joshi off to Delhi
A day after saying that Arun Jaitley can bat better for Amritsar, Punjab cabinet minister Anil Joshi left for New Delhi. Sources in the party claimed that there he would meet Jaitley and convince him to contest the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat.
Sidhu is BJP's issue: Harsimrat
Visiting Amritsar, Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal remained mum on the candidature of Sidhu, saying it was "a BJP issue".