Talks are on, Punjab 2017 with the AAP seems Sidhu’s best bet

Insiders say Sidhu is likely to join AAP by the first or second week of August and be the party's star campaigner in Punjab.
Talks are on, Punjab 2017 with the AAP seems Sidhu’s best bet
Talks are on, Punjab 2017 with the AAP seems Sidhu’s best bet
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Navjot Singh Sidhu has been supremely upset with the BJP since January 2014.

In the run up to the General Elections of 2014, Sidhu was asked to vacate his Amritsar seat for senior leader Arun Jaitley. Jaitley has never won a Lok Sabha election and 2014 was no different.

Visibily angry and upset Sidhu had vowed then that no matter what happened, he would work for Punjab, whether as an MP from Amritsar or as just another leader.

Two years ago on a sticky February evening – Navjot Singh Sidhu had skipped a BJP meeting pertaining to the allocation of seats in Punjab being held at the Delhi BJP headquarters. Half an hour later, he made his entry where the media cameras were stationed, and with that trademark smirk repeated, “Sidhu will never stop working for Punjab”. His irritation was clear when he refused to campaign for Jaitley in Amritsar.

It was much the same tone on display after Sidhu relinquished his Rajya Sabha seat: "I resigned from Rajya Sabha because I was told to not turn towards Punjab and stay away from Punjab... Why should I stay away from Punjab and on whose wishes?" Sidhu asked, while speaking to the media in Delhi.

"Rashtra dharma (duty towards the nation) is the most superior. How could I ignore my roots and betray my homeland? Should I stay away from Punjab just to cater to personal interests of some people," he added.

Nominated by the BJP to the Rajya Sabha in April, Sidhu relinquished his membership on July 18, the opening day of the monsoon session.   

Sulking Sidhu has been waiting for an opportunity to hit back and reclaim his place in Punjab.

And perhaps the 2017 Punjab elections are his best bet. After his resignation from the Rajya Sabha, which he called a consolation from Modi, his political future looks to be with the Aam Aadmi party.

According to sources within the AAP, Sidhu will join the party by the first or second week of August, and is likely to be the star campaigner for the 2017 elections.

Sources indicate that the delay in announcing his joining the AAP is due to negotiations that are currently on between the two. Sidhu wants some of his preferred candidates to be a part of AAP as well. As of now, Sidhu is the best face that the AAP can have in a state where the chances of an alternative shining (apart from the Congress and the Siromani Akali Dal) are quite high.

Speculation over Sidhu joining AAP has been on for at least over six months, and many in the AAP are little surprised that Sidhu finally decided to move away from BJP. Sidhu was aware of his unstable future in the BJP and hence is now moments away from heading towards the AAP.

What will be interesting to see is how the relationship between Sidhu and AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal. Sidhu is known for not being bossed about by anyone. How that will play out with Kejriwal is something everyone is waiting to see.  

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