BJP leader and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday, July 18, resigned from the membership of the Rajya Sabha. There are rumours now that Sidhu may likely join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in order to bolster the Arvind Kejriwal-led side's chances in the upcoming Punjab assembly elections.
After tendering his resignation from the Rajya Sabha, Sidhu elaborated on the circumstances that led to his quitting the Upper House of Parliament. "I accepted the Rajya Sabha nomination at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the welfare of Punjab. [However,] In the war between right and wrong, you can't afford to be neutral. Punjab's interest is paramount."
He also said: "With closure of every window leading to Punjab, the purpose [which is the state's welfare] stands defeated, and now a mere burden. I prefer not to carry it."
Reacting to Sidhu's resignation, AAP leader Sanjay Singh said: "I think Navjot Singh has taken this step to make a better Punjab. This will save Punjab." However, when asked if Sidhu would join the AAP, he said: "A formal announcement will be made when the time is right."
Punjab as a state has its polity dominated by the Congress and the Shiromani Akal Dal (SAD)-BJP combine. And the AAP sees this state as its only other stronghold outside Delhi. That is because although the party had won 67 of the 70 seats in the 2015 Delhi assembly elections, it failed to get any seat there in the General elections conducted a year earlier.
Back then, the AAP was able to send only four people to Parliament, and all four had been from Punjab. It is this popularity that the AAP will look to build on in the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections, and with a popular face like Sidhu with them, they can definitely expect better results.