'Soul' in Congress, Navjot Singh Sidhu to join party later this week | punjab | Hindustan Times
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'Soul' in Congress, Navjot Singh Sidhu to join party later this week

The suspense over the next move of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu may be over soon. The former BJP MP is expected to join the Congress later this week, according to sources in the party.  Sidhu has met top Congress leaders, including the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, last week to finalise his plans. He had earlier held meetings with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and latter’s sister Priyanka Gandhi. 

Punjab polls 2017 Updated: Dec 09, 2016 14:54 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur
Navjot Singh Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu and Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu.(HT File Photo)

The suspense over the next move of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu may be over soon. The former BJP MP is expected to join the Congress later this week, according to sources in the party.  Sidhu has met top Congress leaders, including the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, last week to finalise his plans. He had earlier held meetings with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and latter’s sister Priyanka Gandhi. 

After much ado, Sidhu's wife and Amritsar (east) MLA Navjot Kaur had joined the Congress on November 28 at New Delhi in the presence of Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh. When asked about her husband’s entry into the Congress, she had quipped, "We are like one soul in two bodies. The body has to follow the soul. How long can soul stay without the body?” 

Though Congress sources added that the joining of Sidhu is "unconditional", the former Indian batsman is learnt to have been offered the option of contesting Amritsar Lok Sabha seat that will see a bypoll following the resignation of Amarinder over Supreme Court ruling on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue. Sidhu is not likely to opt for contesting the assembly polls owing to the ’one family, one ticket’ rule of the Congress and his own professional commitments — he is part of the popular TV series, the Kapil Sharma show. 

A prize catch for both the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress, Sidhu's political capital has however eroded after he rolled out a front and then bargained for the best deal with both the parties. But with comedians and sportsmen ruling the roost in Punjab elections, Sidhu may jazz up the Congress poll campaign with his Sidhuisms and no-holds-barred attacks on ruling Badals and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal.

Dr Navjot’s name cleared for Amritsar (east)

The central election committee of the Congress headed by Sonia Gandhi that met on December 3 is learnt to have approved the name of Dr Navjot Kaur from Amritsar (east) seat. The panel also gave its nod for the candidature of former Indian hockey team captain Pargat Singh, who too had joined the party with Dr Navjot, but there is still suspense on whether he will be able to retain his seat, Jalandhar Cantt, which he represented as an Akali Dal MLA. Capt Amarinder is citing surveys to pitch his loyalist Jagbir Brar, who lost to Pargat in the 2012 state polls, as a stronger contender from the seat.

“Since the joining of Pargat and Dr Navjot was dealt directly by Rahul and Priyanka , their seats are clear,” sources in the screening committee said. Sidhu’s front Awaaz-e-Punjab, floated on September 8, had split after independent legislators from Ludhiana, the Bains brothers, aligned with the AAP on November 21.