Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu said on Monday he quit the Rajya Sabha because he was asked to stay away from Punjab but refused to clarify if he was still with the BJP or joining the AAP, as is being speculated.
“Rashtra dharma (duty towards the nation) is the most superior. How can Navjot Singh Sidhu stay away from his motherland,” he said at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday, his first after quitting the Rajya Sabha. “No party in this world is above or greater than Punjab… If it comes to choosing between my family, my party and Punjab, I will choose Punjab a hundred times”
The 52-year-old in a surprise decision quit the Upper House on the first day of the monsoon session on July 18, a few months after he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
“I was told to fight election from Kurukshetra then west Delhi. I said no, I won’t betray my people,” Sidhu said. His relations with the BJP soured after he was denied a ticket in the 2014 elections to contest from Amritsar, the seat he had held since 2004.
The resignation set off furious speculation that Sidhu was headed for the Aam Aadmi Party, which is positioning itself as the third alterative in Punjab that is due for polls in early 2017.
The AAP was the only option for her husband, Navjot Kaur, who is a BJP MLA in Punjab, had said. His resignation from the Rajya Sabha implied a resignation from the BJP, she said, but the former cricketer kept up the suspense on Monday.
video: ABP news