The suspense surrounding cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu’s future in Punjab politics ended Sunday when he formally joined the Congress, after meeting party vice-president Rahul Gandhi at his residence in Delhi. Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh earlier said Sidhu would be campaigning for the Congress and would also be contesting in the upcoming assembly elections from Amritsar East. Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu also quit the Bharatiya Janata Party and joined the Congress last year.
WATCH VIDEO | Punjab Polls: Sidhu To Contest From Amritsar East, Says Amarinder
His induction was, however, delayed as Rahul was out of the country on a short vacation. Sidhu wanted to join the party in Rahul’s presence. Last year, Sidhu left the BJP and resigned as Rajya Sabha MP after he felt he was sidelined by the party. In 2014, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Sidhu was forced to step aside for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who would famously go on to lose the Amritsar seat to Amarinder. Later, he was wooed by the Aam Aadmi Party, but talks fell apart as Sidhu reportedly wanted the party to make him their CM face. He went on to form a political front, Awaaz-e-Punjab, with the Bains brothers, who later joined AAP. Sidhu abandoned the outfit after his wife resigned as MLA and joined Congress.
In Punjab, it will be a three-way contest between the Congress, SAD-BJP and AAP. The state will go to polls on February 4. Counting of votes will begin on March 11.