Tribune News Service
Patiala, July 18
After almost over two decades, the power centre in the Congress citadel of Patiala, held firmly by Capt Amarinder Singh and wife MP Preneet Kaur, suddenly seems to have shifted from their official residence of New Moti Bagh to the Yadavindra Colony-based Navjot Sidhu’s parental house.
It all started in almost end of February when the Sidhu couple shifted their base to Patiala. After being away from Patiala for over a decade, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, along with his wife had suddenly become active with recent press conferences and political functions in the bastion of the Chief Minister openly challenging the government and their failure to punish sacrilege accused and those accused of firing in Bargari.
From opening an office to criticising the state government, the Sidhu couple has fast emerged as the talk of the town. Though openly local Congress leaders have been staying away from their events, insiders claim many are in touch with them.
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In the past three days, over three dozen MLAs and former and present MPs have met him, in a clear signal that the corridors of power have shifted from the palace to the colony, named after the ancestors of Capt Amarinder. “Over 30 MLAs met Sidhu on Saturday and the last time so many have visited the city, when Capt Amarinder had held lunch diplomacy meetings in run up to the 2017 polls. This is enough to show that political shift is not inevitable”, said a second generation congressman from old city.
Interestingly, even though the local congress unit has been maintaining distance from Sidhu and have been claiming that they are with Preneet Kaur, but equations seem to be changing rapidly. Ghanaur MLA Madan Lal Jalalpur— considered close to Preneet Kaur hosted Sidhu and Sukhjinder Randhawa on Sunday along with other MLAs at his residence. Jalalpur’s son is married to Rajpura MLA Hardyal Kambhoj’s daughter and they are usually considered to be on same page politically.
Till a month back, Sidhu, had always claimed that his “focus is not to make any political gains, but to highlight the injustice for the victims of drugs and Bargari issues”. Meanwhile his wife and former Amritsar (East) MLA was often seen meeting party workers at her husband’s ancestral house in Yadavindra Colony. Off late, she has been taking keen interest in the two Vidhan Sabha segments of Patiala (rural) and Sanaur.
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