Navjot Singh Sidhu, who resigned from the Rajya Sabha as a BJP MP, on Monday took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi by saying that his wave during 2014 Lok Sabha elections had drowned him as well.
Addressing a news conference, Sidhu said, “When Modi wave came, everyone drowned and they drowned me as well. I was told to fight elections from Kurukshetra and then West Delhi but I said no.”
Sidhu, however, refused to answer a question on whether he will join the AAP.
He alleged that he was told to keep away from Punjab to “serve selfish interests,” indicating that the BJP was acting under its ally Shiromani Akali Dal’s pressure as Akalis and Sidhu have had a long spell of hostility.
Targeting BJP, Sidhu said he delivered the prestigious Amritsar seat to the party during adverse circumstances but was “drowned in the Modi wave” in 2014, when he was asked to shift from the constituency.
“It happened three or four times,” he said, adding that it cannot be “tolerated” even once as “no party in the world is bigger than Punjab for me.”
“Navjot Singh Sidhu had won four elections but when there was a wave in favour of Modi sahab, then Sidhu was drowned along with rivals. I was told you cannot fight from Amritsar.
You fight from Kurukshetra, you fight from West Delhi. I did not leave my roots then nor did I care about profit and loss.”
Asked if he wanted to be chief ministerial candidate, he told the media in his first interaction since resigning from Upper House last week that he always wanted to serve Punjab.
“I said I will not fight. I have no wish for any post but I will not break the trust of those who made me an MP from Amritsar and have the highest honour in 21 generations. Now you tell me that I should leave Punjab. Tell me what is my sin,” he said, speaking about his disenchantment with the BJP.
“I quit the Rajya Sabha because I was told that I cannot look at Punjab and will have to keep away from it. No dharma is bigger than Punjab for me,” he said, calling the state his nation from which he cannot keep away. .
Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur, a Parliamentary Secretary in the Punjab SAD-BJP govt, may also follow her husband by quitting the BJP. Kaur had expressed displeasure about Sidhu’s RS nomination, stating that it did not make sense for him to be in Delhi while he required to be in Punjab serving his constituents.
His statement that ‘in the war of right or wrong, you can’t afford to be neutral’ assumes significance about his feelings for the BJP.
Sidhu had later reportedly described his Rajya Sabha post as “burden” suggesting resentment with his party.
“With the closure of every window leading to Punjab the purpose stands defeated, now a mere burden. I prefer not to carry it,” he was quoted as saying.
More to follow