In a major political development, Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of cricketer-turned politician, Navjot Singh Sidhu has quit the Congress party. She has also reportedly blamed people within the Congress for causing unease between Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu. While her husband has decided to continue within the Congress, his downfall seems to have been the reason that triggered his wife’s resignation.
Sidhu’s fortunes nosedived ever since he was denied ticket during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls by the BJP. BJP gave his Amritsar seat to former union minister Arun Jaitley. Later, he quit the BJP in 2016 and joined the Congress in the year 2017 just before the Punjab assembly polls. This move to leave BJP and join the grand old party marked the beginning of a never-ending downward trend in his career. Contesting from Amritsar East in the 2017 Punjab Assembly elections, he won the election by a margin of 42,809 votes and was later sworn in as a cabinet minister in Captain Amarinder Singh government. However, later on he was involved in several controversies which not only eroded his political credibility but also ended up making him look like a pro-Pakistan, anti-nationalist political leader.
After joining the Congress, Navjot Singh Sidhu’s political career became a lesson in hypocrisy. As pointed out by Akali Dal leader Manjit Singh GK, “Sidhu used to call Sonia Ji ‘Italian mummy’ and now he touches her feet”. There was a complete change in Sidhu’s attitude and he virtually became a sycophant of the Gandhi family. It’s hilarious how his Twitter Display Picture is actually a snap of the Gandhi scions- Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra Gandhi, displaying the extent of Navjot Singh Sidhu’s sycophancy. Navjot Singh Sidhu’s about turn as far as his political narrative is concerned has been absolutely disgraceful.
Notwithstanding the fact that sycophancy marked the downfall of Navjot Singh Sidhu’s career, his pro-Pakistan narrative has been the standpoint of his downfall. In the month of August last year, Sidhu had attended Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony, even though it was boycotted by others in India. At the ceremony, he was seen exchanging pleasantries with Pakistani Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and even hugged him.
However, Sidhu did not stop at that and further went on to make controversial and insensitive comments on the Pulwama terror attack which saw 44 brave soldiers losing lives at the hands of Pakistan based terror organizations Jaish-e-Mohammad and said “terrorism has no religion, no nation” essentially absolving Pakistan of its role in the heinous terror attack. Referring to the Balakot airstrikes, Sidhu stated, “Were you uprooting terrorists or trees? Was it an election gimmick?” These remarks created a massive outrage, in background of which he was also sacked from the Kapil Sharma show.
His Pakistan-friendly narrative, which even reeked of insensitivity towards the CRPF soldiers who gave the supreme sacrifice during the Pulwama terror attack did not really go down well with the Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and this only deepened the political crisis that Sidhu was in. 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. Amarinder Singh had reacted by saying, “I’m against it… The man should understand that our soldiers are getting killed.”
In between, all these controversies, the Amritsar rail tragedy happened during a Dussehra event last year. The accident had occured when the cricketer-turned politician’s wife, Navjot Kaur Sidhu was giving a speech, after which she simply sped away from the venue instead of trying to help the victims and their grieving families, obviously leading to a huge outrage over the conduct in view of the gravity of the tragic event.
Navjot Singh Sidhu’s performance as a Power Minister also became a major issue. The Power Minister was nowhere to be found even as the state of Punjab reeled under power cuts. The cricketer-turned politician ultimately resigned from the cabinet.
It is clear that his stint as a cabinet minister in Punjab was an absolute disaster. His downward spiral ever since he joined the Congress and his controversial political stand across a range of issues made him rather unpopular with the electorate. As such it is Navjot Singh Sidhu who should have hung his boots instead of his wife, who has had to resign amidst her husband’s political decline.