Sitting parliamentarian Navjot Singh Sidhu may not be in the poll battle of Amritsar but not a day passes when references are not made to how his party batted his political guru in place of the ex-cricketer to please chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his clan.
The new Akali-BJP alliance candidate, Arun Jaitley, is on the defensive on the issue, and the Congress has seized the opportunity to attack him. Sidhu’s wife, local legislator Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, may have joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) campaign but the Congress intends to remind the voters of Amritsar that their MP was sacrificed for daring to speak out for them.
An indication to this came from Congress candidate and former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday at the formal launch of his election campaign for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat. In the six election meetings on the opening day, he made references to the “shoddy and shabby” treatment meted out to Sidhu “not only by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) but also by his own party, the BJP”.
At Khasa in the Attari assembly segment, Amarinder said referring to Badal: “You threw out that boy, Sidhu. What was his fault: that he asked for money for the development of his constituency and you didn’t like it?”
He referred to the outgoing Amritsar MP as “changa munda” (good boy), who stood by his people. At Mahal village and in the Amritsar East and North segments, he made the same references.