When will Navjot Sidhu join AAP? Likely on I-Day eve, not as CM face

  • Jatin Gandhi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 29, 2016 20:39 IST
Navjot Singh Sidhu, a cricketer-turned-politician, stunned the BJP on July 19 by resigning from Rajya Sabha, to which was nominated just two months ago. (HT File Photo)

Former Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Navjot Singh Sidhu is likely to join the Aam Aadmi Party on August 14 and plunge into the campaign for the Punjab assembly elections from the next day, party sources said on Thursday.

The cricketer-turned-politician, who stunned his party on July 19 by suddenly resigning from Rajya Sabha to which he had been nominated just two months ago, will be one of the AAP’s chief campaigners in Punjab. However, he will not be named its chief ministerial candidate, a member of the party’s top body, the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), told HT.

Sidhu, who is in Mumbai, was not available for comment.

The move is seen as a symbiotic boost for the AAP, and the three-time Amritsar MP and his legislator wife, who will follow suit.

Read | Will Sidhu indeed join AAP? He will clear air in 10 days, says wife

For days after he quit Rajya Sabha, Sidhu remained incommunicado. On the day of his resignation, his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu – who is a BJP MLA in Punjab and chief parliamentary secretary – said it implied he had quit the party. When Sidhu finally surfaced and made a brief statement to the media on July 25, neither did he say he quit the BJP nor clarify on where he was headed.

Instead, he used the opportunity to say that he quit because he was asked to stay away from Punjab.

“Rashtra dharma (duty towards the nation) is the most superior. How can Navjot Singh Sidhu stay away from his motherland,” Sidhu said in his brief appearance before the media in New Delhi, where he did not field questions. “No party in this world is above or greater than Punjab ... If it comes to choosing between my family, my party and Punjab, I will choose Punjab a hundred times.”

Delhi chief minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal tweeted after Sidhu’s July 24 press conference: “Sidhu wud hv spoken against drugs, if he went to Punjab. BJP prevented him. Who was BJP trying to protect? Shocking (sic).”

Read | Sidhu will not be CM candidate, declare Punjab AAP leaders

Read | HT Analysis: The importance of being Navjot Singh Sidhu

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