Navjot Sidhu on silent mode, wife says reports of his return to BJP ‘only a rumour’

Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu has announced her exit from Congress, declaring that she is not affiliated with any political party and is only a social worker now.

Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who made the announcement in her husband’s constituency Amritsar East constituency, also clarified on her husband’s status in the Congress, insisting that rumours that he was preparing to leave the Congress and headed to the Bharatiya Janata Party weren’t true.

“It is only a rumour,” Navjot Kaur Sidhu said about reports that her husband will again join the BJP.

Navjot Sidhu resigned from the Punjab Cabinet in July this year, ending a continuing tug-of-war with his boss, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that had started soon after he joined the Congress right before the 2017 Punjab assembly elections.

Sidhu, who was believed to be aspiring to be Amarinder Singh’s deputy, was appointed local bodies minister.

After his differences with the chief minister peaked ahead of the national elections this year, the chief minister changed his portfolio.

Sidhu took offence to reports that the change was made on account of an assessment that he hadn’t delivered and announced his resignation on Twitter. The outspoken politician has since then been on silent mode.

Navjot Kaur Sidhu said her husband and the chief minister had had a good working relationship but some people, who were envious of their equation, instigated Capt Amarinder Singh about him.

“He was doing good work but he was dropped from the cabinet. He will continue to work as MLA,” she told reporters on the sidelines of a local event in her husband’s constituency.

Navjot Sidhu had started his career in politics with the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2004 when he contested the Lok Sabha election from Amritsar and won. He held the seat till 2014. Sidhu was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2016 by the BJP but resigned his seat and followed his wife to the Congress.

Navjot Sidhu won the 2017 state election from Amritsar East seat, the constituency that his wife had represented in the state assembly earlier.

Navjot Kaur had sought Congress ticket from Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat ahead of the May elections this year. However, the party decided not to field her from the seat even as she had already started holding public meetings in anticipation of party nomination.

Earlier, she was ‘interested’ in fighting the Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar from where her husband was elected as BJP MP thrice.

Notwithstanding the announcement about her exit, Navjot Kaur Sidhu hasn’t formally resigned from the Congress yet. Asha Kumari, the Congress’ Punjab in-charge Asha Kumari said she had no idea about Navjot Kaur Sidhu’s exit from the party. “To my knowledge there has been no resignation letter,” said Asha Kumari.

Punjab PCC president Sunil Jakhar, too, said that there was no official letter. “During her press conference, she did not say she has resigned from the party,” said Jakhar.

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