Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who resigned from the Rajya Sabha on Monday, is likely to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and may represent the party's as its chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming Punjab assembly elections scheduled in 2017.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) elected Sidhu for the Rajya Sabha and recently gave him a place in the party's core committee for Punjab. However, he was reportedly upset with the BJP for cornering him over the party's alliance with the Akali Dal in Punjab and giving his parliamentary seat in Amritsar to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the 2014 general elections.
In reaction to Sidhu's resignation, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a series of tweets: "People can give their rt hand for an RS seat. Ever seen a sitting RS MP resigning to save his state? I salute Sidhu ji for his courage... Honest n gud people are feeling extremely suffocated within BJP due to dictatorial attitude of its top leadership."
"Yes, Navjot Singh Sidhu has resigned from BJP. When he has resigned from Rajya Sabha, it only has one meaning that he has resigned from BJP as well. When there was a clear message that they (Akali Dal and BJP) want to fight together, it's obvious there is no door for him. He has clear vision he wants to serve Punjab, he wasn't ready for any other option besides Punjab." Sidhu's wife, Navjot Kaur, told reporters during a press conference, adding that she is still a part of the BJP.
"He (Sidhu) will decide on this. I can't take a decision on his behalf, let it come from his mouth," she added when asked whether Sidhu would join the AAP.
However, Union Cabinet Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal lashed out at Sidhu saying: "People with no base, rejected by public are coming together to join "Party of Opportunists". They speak what public wants to hear and when they form Govt they run to try be the PM, or CM of another State. He couldn't belong to his Party, or the PM or the President, how will he belong to the nation?" according to local media reports.