Known for spinning the Indian cricket team’s fortune, Harbhajan Singh looks set to play a new inning in politics. Once in the controversy for supporting anti-India forces like Shahid Afridi and Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, rumours are that the Turbanator will soon be joining the Congress Party.
Harbhajan Singh meets Sidhu:
Yesterday, Navjot Singh Sidhu, the controversial President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) caused a heatwave in the political circle in the midst of Wintery December. On his Twitter feed, he posted a photo with Harbhajan Singh, India’s former star off-spinner. The tweet read- “Picture loaded with possibilities …. With Bhajji the shining star”
Picture loaded with possibilities …. With Bhajji the shining star pic.twitter.com/5TWhPzFpNl
— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) December 15, 2021
Though could be touted as an informal meeting of two cricketers, the timing of the meeting is causing all sorts of rumours. Punjab is going for an assembly election within a few months. Rumours were going around that Harbhajan and his colleague Yuvraj Singh may join BJP for contesting the next assembly elections. However, Harbhajan had quashed all those gossiping and termed them as Fake News. Meanwhile, a day after the ‘Fake news’ comment, the off-spinner and Sidhu held a meeting together. Coincidentally, the meeting came ahead of the first meeting of the Congress war room (Punjab Congress campaign committee) for Punjab elections.
Fake news https://t.co/nxy81qURPX
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) December 11, 2021
Congress fearful of losing Punjab:
Congress is under troubled waters in Punjab, one of the few states where it is heading the majority government. The appointment of Sidhu as head of PCC came off as a disastrous move for the party. Firstly, Sidhu led a political coup against Captain Amarinder Singh, in turn throwing him out of the party. Then he went on to establish Charanjit Singh Channi, a Christian missionary sympathiser at the helm of affairs. Recently, Sidhu Moose Wala, a Khalistani supporter, also joined the ranks of the Punjab Congress
Harbhajan’s 2-decades of service to the nation stands at risk of being undone:
Harbhajan Singh has been known for his service to the nation as a cricketer. He is well known for establishing enormous victories for India in the cricketing arena, the off-spinner has recently been under the scanner for supporting openly anti-Hindu and anti-India people. In May 2020, Harbhajan and Yuvraj had shared a video of Shahid Afridi trying to raise funds for the victims of the China-induced covid-19 virus. However, after Afridi made a horrid speech against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a visit to Pakistan occupied Kashmir, both Bhajji and Yuvraj were made to retract their statements.
In June this year, Harbhajan got caught in probably the biggest controversy of his 2 decades-old public life. On the 37th anniversary of operation blue star, the Punjabi cricketer shared an Instagram story in which he called Khalistani separatist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale a ‘martyr’ instead of ‘militant’. Later, after heavy criticism and trolling he termed it as WhatsApp forward and expressed his unknowingness.
Sidhu and Punjab Congress are under scanner for alleged tacit support to anti-nationals:
Sidhu and the whole of Punjab Congress have been under the radar for their alleged support to Pakistan and other anti-India elements. In fact, Captain Amarinder Singh, the outgoing chief minister of Punjab had openly called Sidhu an anti-national. Later, the Congress government indirectly substantiated his claim by asking for curtailing the powers of BSF along the Pakistan border.
Since Amarinder Singh is set to join BJP, a vast swathe of erstwhile Congress supporters is expected to vote for the nationalist party. Punjab Congress does not seem to have many options, so they are now down to hiring people from the entertainment industry to gain some popularity. Bhajji also seems to be one of the popular faces which Sidhu wants to pounce on for votes. Harbhajan has been a fantastic cricketer for India and was until recently a widely respected figure. Joining Congress at the current juncture may end up putting a permanent dent in his legacy as a public figure.