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Sidhu playing T20 cricket in politics, 20 his lucky number too

As an opening batsman for India, Navjot Singh Sidhu, could be painstakingly slow and, without warning, change gears and hit boundaries. But those were the days of one-day internationals and test cricket. In politics, the former BJP MP seems to be playing 20-20 cricket by making his entry to the Congress just before the polls and may even decide to bat from home turf Amritsar.

punjab Updated: Dec 18, 2016 09:27 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur
Sukhdeep Kaur
Hindustan Times
Navjot Singh Sidhu,20-20 cricket,lucky number
The former BJP MP seems to be playing 20-20 cricket by making his entry to the Congress just before the polls and may even decide to bat from home turf Amritsar.(Illustration by Daljeet Kaur Sandhu/HT)

As an opening batsman for India, Navjot Singh Sidhu, could be painstakingly slow and, without warning, change gears and hit boundaries. But those were the days of one-day internationals and test cricket. In politics, the former BJP MP seems to be playing 20-20 cricket by making his entry to the Congress just before the polls and may even decide to bat from home turf Amritsar.

While he bargained with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and later the Congress for his now defunct front, Awaaz-ePunjab, Sidhu also kept delaying his return into electoral politics to fulfil his contractual obligations with Sony TV’s popular comedy series, The Kapil Sharma Show. According to his “once close friends” Ludhiana MLA Simarjeet Bains, who have parted with Sidhu’s front to align with AAP, while they were negotiating with both the parties, the Congress offered a better deal to Sidhu -of making him even party’s CM face. Whether or not that was the case, the fact that Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh had not yet been announced the party’s chief ministerial candidate and Sidhu, who had then refused to play second fiddle to Captain, was having direct talks with party vicepresident Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi hint that Sidhu was taking his own sweet time in settling for the next best offer, the post of deputy CM if the party comes to power.

Since Amarinder has announced it to be his last election, Sidhu will be seen as “next in line” in the party for the top job, something that could worry other aspirants waiting for Amarinder to hang his boots. If Sidhu decides to contest Punjab polls, he could also steal Amarinder’s thunder as party’s star campaigner. Though the former CM has carried on tirelessly with a year-long campaign, he is still awaiting announcement of his name. Sidhu’s recent meeting with Amarinder at New Delhi also signals that the two have decided to bury the hatchet and Sidhu has realised that top posts, unlike cricket runs, do not come by hitting verbal boundaries.

But Sidhu still loves a spin. Nothing has kept Punjabis on bigger suspense than what would be his next move. His wife has walked into Congress and Amarinder has said Sidhu too will follow suit. As for the timing, you need to ask Sidhu’s astrologers. He goes by the stars and believes his birth date — Sidhu was born on October 20 — to be auspicious for starting anything new, be it signing contracts for television shows or making important announcements. Sidhu acted in a Punjabi movie, Pind, which was released on September 20, 2008. Even his front, Awaaz, was unofficially announced on September 2 (both 2 and 20 add up to 2), through posters by Bains brothers and former Indian hockey captain Pargat Singh.

But Awaaz was officially launched on September 8 and has gone silent thereafter. Sidhu is not likely to deviate from numbers anytime soon.

First Published: Dec 18, 2016 09:23 IST