“Main politics kabhi join nahi karunga, Aam Aadmi Party bana di. Main security nahi lunga. Z security le li. Main bungalow nahi lunga. Bungalow mein khud jhadu maarne lag gaya. Main koi jhooth bol raha hu?’ (‘I will never join politics, he created the Aam Aadmi Party. I will never take security cover. He took the Z security. I will not take a bungalow. He took a bungalow and started sweeping the floor himself.’ Am I lying?).’
This is a statement Navjot Singh Sidhu, fiery BJP leader and former Amritsar MP, made about Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal possibly during an election campaign. It’s also one that he would presently wish he had not made. This blast-from-the-past statement and many others will haunt Sidhu as he is all set to join the AAP according to multiple reports. Sidhu’s resignation from the Rajya Sabha, to which he was nominated earlier this year in a bid to placate him, has left BJP leaders shocked and jittery. After all, he is a brilliant orator who can rile up masses with political rhetoric.
At the same time, if he joins the AAP, he will be essentially accepting the leadership of a man whom he has critiqued for his ‘nautanki’ (drama) in the past.
In the video, Sidhu is heard saying, “Idhar dharna, udhar dharna, idhar dharna, udhar dharna. Yeh jantar mantar ke jagah pe dharna company, Kejriwal ki nautanki company likh do’ (Protest here, protest there, protest here, protest there. In place of Jantar Mantar, call it Kejriwal’s drama company’).
— Vinay Kumar Dokania (@vinaydokania) July 18, 2016
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Sidhu might of course brush these statements off as having made in the heat of the election campaign. His joining the AAP has more to do with his systematic sidelining within the BJP and his irritation of the Akalis, at whom he has taken potshots every now and then. How he would defend his past statements on Kejriwal and the future ones he might make on Narendra Modi would be interesting to watch.