Navjot Sidhu sulks, but Cong appears in no mood to play ball

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 18, 2020

Navjot Singh Sidhu   -  THE HINDU

With high command not interceding on his behalf, there is talk of an allegiance shift by the cricketer-turned-politician, yet again

Neither the Congress high command nor the party’s Punjab unit is in a mood to listen to cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu’s ‘grievances’.

Amid speculation that the former BJP MP is leaving the Congress, the party said it does not have any information about his plans and said the party had ‘recognised’ the role of Sidhu as a senior politician from the State.

Since his resignation from Amrinder Singh’s Cabinet in July, Sidhu has kept away from Congress programmes. He was to be a star campaigner for the party in the recent Delhi Assembly elections, but he did not address any meeting or participate in a roadshow.

Congress Coordination Committee chairman Asha Kumari refused to comment on the rumours and said the party has no information about Sidhu’s plans. Asked if the Congress has given enough recognition to Sidhu, she said recognition is not an issue for a senior politician like Sidhu, who is also famous as a former Indian cricket team player and a TV entertainer. “I have no information about the speculative reports on his problems with the Congress. He has not contacted me,” she said.

Sidhu is supposedly close to Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The Congress leadership has not taken his reported problems with the Punjab Chief Minister seriously, but his absence from the Delhi campaign has been noted.

The State unit of the Congress was dissolved and Sidhu was not made a part of the 11-member coordination committee, formed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi recently. This is seen as a clear indication that the party high command will not throw its weight behind him any more.

Sidhu had resigned from the State Cabinet in July last year after a long tussle with the Chief Minister. There were reports that he may be given the post of Deputy Chief Minister at the instance of the Gandhis, but Amrinder Singh and the of the State party unit were against any such move.

There were reports that Sidhu is considering resigning from the Congress to join the AAP or go back to the BJP.

Published on February 18, 2020

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