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Sidhu faces political googlies

He may have played many a googly on the cricket pitch with ease but Sidhu, the SAD-BJP candidate from Amritsar, was clean-bowled by the first political googly he faced.
PTI | By Rajnish Sharma, Amritsar
PUBLISHED ON APR 29, 2004 12:49 AM IST

He may have played many a googly on the cricket pitch with ease but Navjot Singh Sidhu, the SAD-BJP candidate from this 'Guru-Ki-Nagri', was clean-bowled by the first political googly he faced.

Barely two days before Sidhu was to file his nomination late last week, he realised that his file — with complete sets of nomination papers — had gone missing. Sidhu sent frantic messages to relatives and friends in Patiala who rushed with alternative sets of documents. By then the file resurfaced, equally mysteriously.

Following the incident, Sidhu lodged a strong protest with BJP chief Venkaiah Naidu and senior party leader Arun Jaitley about the lack of support from local cadre, BJP sources said. Jaitley is largely credited with fielding Sidhu from this city against Congress veteran R.L. Bhatia. Both Naidu and Jaitley are believed to have assured Sidhu that the matter would be sorted out.

But officially, Sidhu dismisses the incident, saying his concern at the moment about winning more friends in Amritsar, which he has made his home now. "Come what may, I will never return to Patiala now," remarked Sidhu.

But it is not without reason that the Sidhu camp is more concerned about the 'enemy within' than the challenge from Bhatia, a six-time MP from here.

But Sidhu's friends and supporters are sure he’ll win. Their confidence is based on the belief that Amritsar is lucky for him. It was in this city, in 1983, that Sidhu played for the Board's President XI against the West Indies. Sidhu's 110-run knock opened the doors of the national team for him. The Sidhu camp feels the former cricketer will repeat his success story in politics too.

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