Navjot Singh Sidhu’s move to join the Congress party came as a surprise to many after the former MP resigned from the BJP to form his own political outfit. He called himself a born Congressman at a press conference on Monday when he announced he will fight the elections from Amritsar East on a Congress ticket. It appears Sidhu is trying his best to avoid any chances of him being branded as a turncoat and to quickly gain acceptance as a Congress leader.
Sidhu will be the star campaigner for the party in the elections and he would want all associations to his previous party to die out from the public conscience. Ever since Sidhu resigned from the BJP, Congress and its likely CM candidate former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh persistently tried to woo him.
WATCH | Navjot Singh Sidhu Officially Joins Congress, Says This Is My Ghar Wapsi
Clearly, he has been given the task of consolidating the non-Akali Sikh votes along with wooing the Hindu votes.
Earlier, the cricketer-turned-politician gave hints that he would join the Aam Aadmi Party, reportedly pitching for a CM candidacy and gave feelers to Congress. Reports had suggested that Sidhu had wanted a deputy CM position if Congress comes to power and fallout in negotiations had led to Captain Amarinder and Sidhu trading barbs. Sidhu won from Amritsar for two Lok Sabha terms before he was replaced by Arun Jaitley for the 2014 elections, which the latter lost.
During all this drama and Sidhu’s astute negotiations, he raised his stake. His USP was his public appeal, sharp witty speeches and one-liners during campaigns as previously witnessed in Haryana when he was campaigning for BJP.
After a protracted period of wooing the celebrity politician, it seems both Congress and Sidhu reckon all is at stake and now they have to mould Sidhu’s image as a one party leader. His wife had already joined the Congress a month ago. Sidhu’s induction in Congress shows his intent to throw himself into the fray against the BJP, not as a former BJP man.