The cricketer-turned politician and Punjab minister, Navjot Singh Sidhu has been making headlines time and again in the recent past over his controversial remarks and actions. Till very recently, Sidhu was seen as the favorite topic of Indian media outlets and newspapers. However, the Congress leader suddenly seems to have gone out of focus. Of late, there haven’t been any news reports mentioning him and he seems to have fallen out of the limelight. He doesn’t seem to be at the center of political scene either. It is strange how a leader who was at the focus point for the media seems to have lost their attention all of a sudden.
If an NDTV report is to be believed, Navjot Singh Sidhu has skipped work for nearly twenty days and is also learned to have gone out of contact in order to make his displeasure known. As per the reports from sources close to Sidhu,he has another cause to be upset as his wife has been denied a ticket from the constituency of her choice, i.e. Chandigarh. The Lok Sabha seat has gone to a veteran Congress leader Pawan Bansal. There has been no formal announcement about Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur. There was a buzz going around that she might be fielded from the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency but the Congress has fielded sitting legislator, Gurjit Singh Aujla from the Lok Sabha constituency. This hints towards Sidhu’s loss of reputation in the party. However, Sidhu, being a minister in the Punjab government, is wasting the hard earned taxpayer money by keeping himself out of work. Someone as erratic as Sidhu shouldn’t be serving as a public servant with his whims and fancies getting the better of his duties.
Sidhu had left the BJP after the party fielded Arun Jaitley from the Amritsar constituency in the 2014 General Elections. But now Sidhu, who had joined the Congress party in the run up to the Punjab assembly polls, is said to be miffed about not being invited to speak at a party rally in Moga which was attended by the Gandhi scion. Sources also say that Sidhu is upset over not being included in the star campaigners list for the state of Chhattisgarh.
It is important to mention here that he hasn’t been sharing a good relationship with his boss, Punjab CM, Amarinder Singh over the last few months. It took a turn for the worse after Sidhu drew criticism for his objectionable closeness to Pakistan PM Imran Khan, keeping his friendship with Imran Khan over the nation in his list of priorities. In fact, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh called him out openly last August, when Sidhu was seen hugging the Pakistan Army chief Bajwa during Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony in Islamabad. Singh had reacted by saying, “I’m against it… The man should understand that our soldiers are getting killed.” However, Sidhu had continued to make pro-Pakistan remarks and his comments after the Pulwama terror attack carried out by Pakistan terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and the pre-emptive Balakot air strikes conducted by the IAF against JeM terror training camps were particularly distasteful. After Pulwama terror attacks, he had said, “terrorism has no religion, no nation”. Referring to the Balakot airstrikes, Sidhu stated, “Were you uprooting terrorists or trees? Was it an election gimmick?”
It is clear that Sidhu has several reasons to be upset with the Congress leadership. The fact that he has gone incommunicado shows that he is totally disenchanted with the Congress leadership. Sidhu’s fall has turned out to be both dramatic and uncharacteristic to his personality. His fall has been very sudden and very silent.