Even as AAP swept the Punjab Assembly polls, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu too lost from the high-profile Amritsar East seat. With this, life has come full circle for Sidhu since his retirement in 1999. TFI founder Atul Mishra clearly summarized Sidhu’s second innings in his tweet thread.
Sidhu – A timeline of the political career of a nutcase
1999: Sidhu quits Cricket and becomes a nobody
— Atul Mishra (@TheAtulMishra) March 11, 2022
Now let’s take a look at Sindhu’s second innings.
Sidhu’s retirement from cricket in 1999
The story starts in 1999 when Sidhu announced his retirement from the game of cricket.
He had a fine international career as an opening batsman. Some good performances on away tours and a decent scoring average by the standards of the 80s and the 90s.
His next innings in life however was supposed to start from scratch, as is the case with all athletes.
In 2001, Sidhu started a new career- cricket commentator and expert. He soon became famous for his catchy one-liners during commentary and post-match shows.
So, Sidhu’s career seemed to go in the right direction. He was getting good visibility on national TV. In the early 2000s, cricket was incredibly popular amongst India’s children and youth. So, Sidhu became a household name as a commentator.
This was the phase when Sidhu’s career graph kept going upwards. Cricket commentary was only the beginning. Soon, he would also get into judging laughter shows and electoral politics.
Sidhu’s entry into politics
In 2004, Sidhu joined the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). And his career was off to a good start. Sidhu contested the 2004 Lok Sabha elections from Amritsar and won.
So, at an age of 40 years, Sidhu became a famous commentator and a lawmaker. Things were evidently going great for Sidhu. But it was only going to get better.
In 2005, Sidhu joined the Great Indian Laughter Challenge as a judge. And he seemed a good fit for the reality show because of all his one-liners and laughter.
So, Sidhu was a known comedy reality show judge, a cricket commentator & expert, and a lawmaker. How good is that? I am sure many of us would accept this career profile without a second thought.
For many years, Sidhu’s dream run continued. In 2009, Sidhu won the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency yet again. On the other hand, his television career also kept going well.
In 2016, Sidhu became a Rajya Sabha MP. Not many politicians get the opportunity to become a member of the Upper House of Parliament. So, Sidhu’s political career had only gotten upgraded. But things would change soon.
Sidhu joins Congress
In 2016, Sidhu resigned from the Rajya Sabha. Then, he left the BJP and formed his own party called Aawaaz-e-Punjab. In 2017 however, he dissolved his political outfit and joined the Indian National Congress (INC).
He also contested the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls from Amritsar East and got elected. He also served as a cabinet minister in the Amarinder Singh government for over two years.
Ultimately, Sidhu’s tussle with former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh became a talking point. But in July 2021, Sidhu became the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. Later, Amarinder resigned and political analysts started wondering if Sidhu could become the grand old party’s Punjab CM candidate for the 2022 Assembly polls.
However, things would soon go downhill for Sidhu.
Sidhu’s political career goes downhill
The INC leadership chose former CM Charanjit Singh Channi as its CM candidate. So, if Sidhu had any hopes of becoming the Punjab Chief Minister, they got dashed.
However, he received a bigger setback during the recently concluded Punjab Assembly polls. Sidhu lost from the Amritsar East Vidhan Sabha constituency.
In 1999, Sidhu’s cricket career had ended. And he had to begin from scratch. Life has however come full circle for Sidhu, and he is back to where he was in 1999 despite all his achievements in the past 23 years. Life is indeed cyclical, isn’t it?