Navjot Singh Sidhu dealt a crushing blow to the BJP on Monday after he announced his resignation from the Rajya Sabha. His resignation just weeks after BJP fielded him primarily to pacify a sulking leader has come at a time when the saffron party is in desperate need to project a credible Sikh face in the crucial assembly elections.
There are reports that Sidhu is all set to join the Aam Aadmi Party in the next two weeks with his wife Navjot Kaur to follow him later.
Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal wasted no time in congratulating Sidhu. In his tweet, Kejriwal said he saluted the former India cricketer for his ‘courage.’
He said, “People can give their rt hand for an RS seat. Ever seen a sitting RS MP resigning to save his state? I salute Sidhu ji for his courage.”
People can give their rt hand for an RS seat. Ever seen a sitting RS MP resigning to save his state? I salute Sidhu ji for his courage
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 18, 2016
However, Sidhu’s decision to effectively part ways with the BJP hasn’t happened suddenly. Reliable sources said that Sidhu’s wife had been in conversation with AAP leaders for almost a year.
Sidhu, according to one leader, who wished not to be named, had insisted on being projected as the AAP’s chief ministerial face. But, AAP refused to oblige saying that a decision to declare the party’s chief ministerial candidate will be taken closer to the election.
“This was because there are so many aspirants for the CM’s candidature and we simply can’t afford to create more internal rifts in the party by showing our preference for one individual over the other. ” said the source.
The talks between Sidhu’s wife and AAP leaders were stalled for few months as both sides refused to budge.
However, Sidhu’s nomination to Rajya Sabha prompted the talks to resume and this time the former BJP MP’s camp appeared ‘less stubborn’ about their demand for chief ministerial candidature.
AAP has reportedly assured Sidhu that he will be given a top role should the party form government in Punjab next year. It’s likely that his wife too would join AAP soon after Sidhu has formally joined.