Navjot Sidhu on star campaigner list, but missing from poll scene : The Tribune India

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Navjot Sidhu on star campaigner list, but missing from poll scene

Party insiders reveal that his political relevance cannot be ignored as demand for his participation in the campaign is coming from Amritsar, Sangrur, Patiala and some other places

Navjot Sidhu on star campaigner list, but missing from poll scene

Navjot Singh Sidhu during a rally in Moga. File



Tribune News Service

Rajmeet Singh

Chandigarh, May 17

Once the most sought-after campaigner, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Sidhu is not visible on the ground.

‘Miffed’ with state Cong leadership

Navjot Sidhu is reportedly miffed with the state leadership over keeping him away from policy decisions and acting against the leaders, who sided with him.

Though the former PPCC chief still enjoys the confidence of the party high command as his name finds mention in the star campaigner list for Punjab, he is yet to campaign for the party candidates.

Other than his pressing personal reasons and his engagement with the ongoing Indian Premier League’, he was “miffed” with the state party leadership over keeping him at a distance in policy decisions and acting against the leaders, who sided with him.

Party insiders reveal that his political relevance cannot be ignored as demand for his participation in the campaign is coming from Amritsar, Sangrur, Patiala and some other places.

Former PPCC chief Shamsher Singh Dullo said, “Sidhu’s popularity among the masses cannot be ignored. He is among the few politicians, who do not carry any political baggage. When he was holding rallies to strengthen the party, action was taken against the leaders, who organised these rallies”.

Ever since he joined Sidhu ahead of the 2017 Assembly elections, he had a tumultuous journey in the Congress. After having a face-off with then Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, he resigned as the Cabinet Minister in 2019 and was instrumental in dethroning of Capt Amarinder as the CM in September 2021. He resigned as PPCC chief after eight months over differences with CM Charanjit Singh Channi in the run-up to the 2022 Assembly elections.

After serving one-year sentence in a road rage case, Sidhu, after being released in April 2023, developed differences with the state party leadership. His critics in the party say he was loner and could not take along other leaders. On the other hand, Sidhu’s supporters say that his popularity made the state leadership insecure.

Again in January 2023, after Devendra Yadav was named the new Punjab affairs in charge in place of Harsh Chaudhary, Sidhu had face-off with PPCC chief Amrinder Raja Warring and CLP leader Partap Singh Bajwa. He has questioned them over adopting double standards in adhering to discipline in the party. He had questioned the state leadership over not strongly questioning the AAP government over its acts of omission and commission.

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