Navjot Singh Sidhu Joins Congress, Welcomed By Rahul
New Delhi: The entertainer par excellence Navjot Singh Sidhu has formally joined the Congress party in the presence of its Vice President Rahul Gandhi here on Sunday less than three weeks before the polling in Punjab for Assembly elections. Polling in Punjab is scheduled to be held on February 4 along with Goa.
Navjot Sidhu was member of Rajya Sabha some months ago representing the BJP. He felt neglected by the BJP leadership and resigned from the party. He had consultations with Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Admi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal toying with the idea of joining the party. Kejriwal is understood to have offered the position of deputy chief minister to Sidhu but the condition that only from one family would be fielded in the assembly elections has deflected the latter towards the Congress party. The Grand Old Party has agreed to give tickets to both Sidhu and his wife Navjot Kaur. Sidhu would be contesting from Amritsar East constituency beside campaigning in all the 70 constituencies as a star campaigner. His wife has already been included in the list of Congress candidates. Her constituency is yet to be finalized. Sidhu demanded the post of deputy chief minister. It is not yet clear if the Congress has accepted the demand. The chief ministerial candidate of the party is Captain Amarinder Singh who is presently spearheading the party’s campaign as the PCC chief. When asked about Sidhu’s demand, Amarinder said party vice president would take a decision on this demand at an appropriate time. He denied the allegation that he was not very enthusiastic about Sidhu joining his party.
The 56-year old Sidhu had several rounds of discussions with Rahul Gandhi before he decided to join the party. Rahul has welcomed the former cricketer and parliament member into the Congress. They met four days ago. Soon after the meeting on Sunday afternoon, the AICC spokesman Randeep Singh Sujrewala tweeted, “INC welcomes S. Navjot Singh Sidhu & thanks Rahul Gandhiji for bringing likeminded people under the Congress umbrella.”
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal has questioned Sidhu joining a party that had attacked the Golden Temple. Sidhu left BJP on a complaint that he was forced to give up Amritsar Lok Sabha seat for the sake of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who contested only to lose to Captain Amarinder Singh, former chief minister.