A day after BJP handed him his maiden Lok Sabha ticket from Amritsar, a seat held by Navjot Singh Sidhu, senior party leader Arun Jaitley on Sunday sought to placate the cricketer-turned-politician saying he was “bowled over” by grace and dignity shown by him.
Sidhu had on Saturday said that while he was ready to make “sacrifice” for his ‘guru’ Jaitley, he would not contest from anywhere else than Amritsar.
“I must express my gratitude and thanks to my friend Navjot Singh Sidhu for helping me to make up my mind…His grace and dignity reflected the behaviour which is a lesson for many of us in politics. In cricket he was an established batsman. This time he has bowled me over,” he said while lauding Sidhu’s role who has represented the holy city till now.
Jaitley sang paeans in honour of Amritsar, which he said, he loves for various reasons and is now looking forward to staying there for a longer stay.
He also thanked his party for selecting him for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat saying, “Since 1980 I was involved in the management of the political campaigns of the BJP…”Since I used to be in the business of organising polls I never got a chance to contest one.”
Jaitley said though he has been a member of the BJP since its inception in 1980, he has never got a chance to contest elections and was inducted in the NDA government even when he was not an MP and later represented Gujarat in the Rajya Sabha.
Lauding Sidhu’s role, Jaitley said,”Navjot and my relationship is much more than political. I could not have imagined replacing him. For the last few days he started insisting that I should go to Amritsar to contest elections.”
Jaitley said though he kept requesting Sidhu to contest from Amritsar or any other constituency including Kurukshetra and West Delhi, which was reiterated by BJP president Rajnath Singh, the cricketer-turned-politician was gracious as made it clear that he was not looking for any personal or political position or gains.