With his feud with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reaching a flashpoint and subsequently ending in his resignation, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has been left to fend for himself within the party. No one from the Congress party, which he joined in 2017 after quitting BJP, has spoken up in support of Sidhu.
The only support for him has come from a few opposition MLAs, including Punjab Ekta Party leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) president Simarjeet Singh Bains and AAP MLA Aman Arora.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and its alliance partner BJP have hit out at Sidhu and as much as his party colleagues Local Bodies Minister Brahm Mohindra and Tourism and Culture Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.
Not a single Cabinet colleague of Sidhu or a party MLA has come out in his support. While Mohindra and Channi went to the extent of calling him ‘king of theatrics’ and his action of resignation a ‘drama’, Khaira and Bains have invited him to join him.
Sidhu has a friend in Jalandhar (Cantt) MLA and hockey Olympian Pargat Singh but even he has not spoken up in his favour yet. Sources told The Indian Express that Sidhu was not in touch with anyone and he had not spoken to Pargat Singh also for about a month. Bains has also been trying to speak to him but he was incommunicado.
Sidhu has himself not spoken even after an aide of Sidhu said he was “in another world” as he was “meditating” most of the time. He was in Amritsar and had not reached Chandigarh yet.
Earlier PPCC chief Sunil Kumar Jakhar used to support him but this time he has been away from the political scene ever since he sent his resignation letter to the high command. Even Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has been quiet on the Sidhu issue. Both Randhawa and Sidhu were considered thick once and used to take on SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia strongly.
Even former PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa, who has been at loggerheads with Amarinder has maintained a studied silence. Another Rajya Sabha member Shamsher Singh Dullo, who has been critical of Amainder, has also stayed clear of the controversy.
Interestingly, Amarinder’s aide Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, who would take on Sidhu each time has also stayed away from commenting on the issue. Last time, he had appealed to Sidhu to take charge of his new department but has not said anything on his resignation.
Sidhu’s resignation has not been accepted yet by the Chief Minister.