Breaking his silence, Navjot Singh Sidhu today said he quit Rajya Sabha as BJP had asked him to stay away from Punjab and asserted that he will choose the state “hundred times” above any party or family, but kept everyone guessing on his future course of action.
The cricketer-turned-politician, who made clear his displeasure with BJP, parried queries on whether he would join Aam Aadmi Party, saying he will be standing wherever the interests of Punjab are served.
Sidhu alleged that he was told to keep away from Punjab to “serve selfish interests,” indicating that the BJP was acting under its ally Shiromani Akali Dal’s pressure as Akalis and Sidhu have had a long spell of hostility.
Targeting BJP, Sidhu said he delivered the prestigious Amritsar seat to the party during adverse circumstances but was “drowned in the Modi wave” in 2014, when he was asked to shift from the constituency.
“It happened three or four times,” he said, adding that it cannot be “tolerated” even once as “no party in the world is bigger than Punjab for me.” “Navjot Singh Sidhu had won four elections but when there was a wave in favour of Modi sahab, then Sidhu was drowned along with rivals.
I was told you cannot fight from Amritsar. You fight from Kurukshetra, you fight from West Delhi. I did not leave my roots then nor did I care about profit and loss.”
Asked if he wanted to be chief ministerial candidate, he told the media in his first interaction since resigning from Upper House last week that he always wanted to serve Punjab. “I said I will not fight. I have no wish for any post but I will not break the trust of those who made me an MP from Amritsar and have the highest honour in 21 generations.
Now you tell me that I should leave Punjab. Tell me what is my sin,” he said, speaking about his disenchantment with the BJP. “I quit the Rajya Sabha because I was told that I cannot look at Punjab and will have to keep away from it. No dharma is bigger than Punjab for me,” he said, calling the state his nation from which he cannot keep away.