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Posted at: May 16, 2018, 1:59 AM; last updated: May 16, 2018, 1:59 AM (IST)

‘Feel bigger, stronger’

Sidhu may become rallying point for sulking MLAs
‘Feel bigger, stronger’
Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu being congratulated by PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15

The Supreme Court verdict has come as a shot in the arm for Navjot Singh Sidhu, who may once again become the rallying point for legislators and leaders annoyed with Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh after the recent Cabinet expansion.

Liberated from the political turmoil revolving around his road rage case that could have potentially finished his political career, not only Sidhu has emerged stronger, but also poised to play an important role in the state and national politics in the coming 2019 Parliamentary elections, feel senior party leaders.

At one point of time, a section of MLAs from Majha had rallied behind cricketer-turned-politician while pressing upon the Chief Minister to take action against Akali leader Bikram Majithia for his alleged role in drug trafficking before they distanced themselves from Sidhu, who was seemingly isolated by his detractors within the party.

Sidhu is seen as the only one in the government who is vocal in his opposition to the stand of the Chief Minster on seeking action against Majithia. Other baiters of the Chief Minister like Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Partap Singh Bajwa are not part of the government.

Be it the revelation of the Special Task Force (STF) report or lending voice to the clamour by MLAs seeking action against Majithia, Sidhu has remained the rallying point. Given his style of functioning, efforts have been on to cut him to size, lest he becomes a parallel power centre in the party.

On being asked, Sidhu, in a lighter vein, said, “I have liberated every one of all fears. I pardon everyone. The adverse situation has made me 10 times bigger and stronger.”


Political innings

  • 2004: Sidhu resigns from his post with the State Bank of Patiala and joins the BJP. Wins the Lok Sabha elections from Amritsar.
  • 2006: In December, the Punjab and Haryana High Court sentences him to three-year imprisonment in the road rage case. Sidhu resigns as MP. 
  • 2007: In January, the SC stays his conviction. In February, he wins the LS byelection from Amritsar by over 77,000 votes. 
  • 2014: Makes way for Arun Jaitley to contest from the Amritsar LS seat, but refrains from campaigning for him. 
  • 2016: In April, Sidhu is nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the NDA government, but resigns in July. He later quits the BJP as well.
  • 2017: Sidhu joins the Congress ahead of the Assembly poll and gets a Cabinet berth after his win from Amritsar.

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