BJP leader and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu said on Monday that he was asked to stay far away from Punjab – which goes to the polls next year – which is why he quit the Rajya Sabha.
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 25, 2016
“How can I leave the people who voted me in four times,” Sidhu said. He resigned from the Rajya Sabha on July 18.
It was speculated that Sidhu is planning to quit the BJP and join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ahead of the assembly elections in Punjab early next year. He resigned a mere three months after the Narendra Modi government nominated him to Parliament’s upper house.
Sidhu had so far not explicitly said why he resigned. However, his wife Navjot Kaur, who’s a BJP member, said that Sidhu’s quitting the Rajya Sabha meant he was quitting the BJP.
In a brief statement on his resignation, Sidhu indicated he was miffed with the state of affairs in the BJP. However, his wife Navjot Kaur, who’s a BJP member, said that Sidhu’s quitting the Rajya Sabha meant he was quitting the BJP.
“At the behest of the honourable PM, I had accepted the Rajya Sabha nomination for the welfare of Punjab.With the closure of every window leading to Punjab the purpose stands defeated. It is now a mere burden. I prefer not to carry it,” Sidhu said.
The 52-year-old politician also said that “in the war of right or wrong, you can’t afford to be neutral rather than being self-centered” and that “Punjab’s interest is paramount”.
Sidhu represented Amritsar in the Lok Sabha between 2004 and 2014.