The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, on Saturday resigned from primary membership of the party.
Dr Sidhu, 53, MLA from Amritsar (East) constituency, sent a one-line resignation to Vijay Sampla, president of the party’s Punjab unit.
“The state BJP president, Vijay Sampla, has accepted the resignation of Navjot Kaur Sidhu from the primary membership of the party,” the BJP said in a press release.
Right from the beginning of her political innings in March 2012 as an MLA, Dr Sidhu has been a thorn in the flesh of both the saffron party and the Akali Dal. She began attacking the Akali Dal and BJP often, after the BJP denied her husband the ticket to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Amritsar, the constituency he had represented thrice.
Also known for always exploring the possibility of hogging the limelight, Dr Sidhu had enacted a ‘resignation drama’ in April this year, via Facebook — the same platform her husband used to float Awaaze-Punjab forum on September 8, which is now gasping for breath.
“Finally, I have resigned from the BJP. The burden is over,” Dr Sidhu had said in her Facebook announcement on April Fools’ Day. But Dr Sidhu, who was also a chief parliamentary secretary, within a day took a somersault, saying her grievances had been addressed and that her resignation was just a joke.
The Sidhu couple were always miffed as they felt the party was “ignoring” them. Their main grouse was against the Akali Dal, the alliance partner of the BJP.
That Dr Sidhu will quit the BJP sooner than later became clear when her husband quit his Rajya Sabha membership in July and resigned from the saffron party in September this year. Her resignation comes over a month after Sidhu floated the new outfit, Awaaz-e-Punjab, and a series of flip-flops over this forum.
Now, political future of the husband and wife hangs in balance after announcing that the Awaaz-e-Punjab will not become a political party. With the assembly elections due in Punjab early next year, the former MP is now desperately awaiting an invite from the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), while Dr Sidhu will follow in his footsteps.
Sidhu’s rider that his forum Awaaz-e-Punjab will have no truck with the Congress till it is led by its state chief Captain Amarinder Singh has further exposed him and dented his credibility. On the day Sidhu launched his forum, he had openly derided AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal as an “insecure man”.
Just when Punjab and Punjabis were thinking they would cobble up a fourth front, Sidhu on September 22 threw another googly — he would not form a political party and divide the anti-incumbency vote.
Within the BJP, meanwhile, no one is shedding tears over Dr Sidhu also leaving the saffron party. Instead, they are elated over this belated development.