Breaks his silence. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal 25 Jul 2016 | 3:04 PM
NEW DELHI: Breaking his silence, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday said no party is bigger than Punjab and he quit his Rajya Sabha seat as he was told to stay away from the state.[ + read story ]
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 25
Breaking his silence, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday said no party is bigger than Punjab and he quit his Rajya Sabha seat as he was told to stay away from the state.
He was addressing a press conference here.
Though he remained non-committal over whether he was joining the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or would be its chief ministerial face, Sidhu said he would do whatever is good for Punjab.
Recounting the number of times he stood by the BJP, Sidhu wanted to know his “fault” for being shifted out of the constituency he had won four times in a row. He said a true nationalist never abandoned his people, so how could he.
Launching an all-out attack on the BJP, he said no party is bigger than Punjab and how could he give up his roots. “I always wanted to serve Punjab and Amritsar,” he added.
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Sidhu said, “How could I have left the state that returned me to the Lok Sabha four times? How could I have left Punjab for the sake of a Rajya Sabha seat?”
He said, “No party is above Punjab. This is not about profit or loss. I could not have abandoned the people of Punjab who voted for me. I stood by the party by contesting from Amritsar at a short notice of two weeks. When there was a Modi wave I was told that I could not fight from Amritsar and should shift to Kurukshetra or West Delhi. Now I am told I could not go to Punjab. Please tell me my fault.”
Sidhu said he would go the way where Punjab benefited, refusing to reveal whether he was joining the AAP. However, the colour of his turban--yellow--gave away the party he might join.
Meanwhile, BJP sources questioned as to why was Sidhu silent all this while if he was so unhappy over the decisions taken by the party. Taken by surprise by Sidhu’s outburst again, the party is expected to come up with an official response soon.
AAP’s national organisation head Durgesh Pathak insisted Sidhu would soon join the AAP and that the date would be announced soon.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Kirti Azad said like Sidhu was told to stay away from Punjab, he was told to stay away from Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) at the behest of the "same person".
Sidhu has not yet officially resigned from the BJP, which continues to ignore his outburst on Monday. BJP sources say the party is in no mood to pay any further attention to Sidhu. They claim that the source of his latest outburst seems to be AAP’s “obvious disinterest” in him.
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