The rumbling within the BJP against former cricketer-cum-Member of Parliament Navjot Singh Sidhu got louder on Monday with the state leadership seeking his replacement for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat. Party National General Secretary Arun Jaitley’s name was proposed as the candidate for the seat. Punjab Local Bodies Minister Anil Joshi, Punjab BJP vice-president Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, Punjab general secretary Tarun Chugh and former minister Baldev Raj Chawla during a meeting said: “We have no grudge against Sidhu or anyone else in the race for the ticket. However, we urge the high command to field Arun Jaitley, as this seat is of utmost importance.”
“After winning this seat, Jaitley will bring in several developmental projects for the city and border areas as he has a personal connection with the holy city, the hometown of his mother”, Chhina said.
It may be noted that both Joshi, Chhina and several other leaders have been at loggerheads with Sidhu in the past and off late have not been in good terms. The other leaders who were present were Mayor Bakshi Ram Arora, District BJP president Naresh Sharma, general secretary Kewal Kumar besides others.
“We live among people and we cannot undermine their sentiments and have to convey the message to the party high commend that Jaitley is the right choice. Even Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Revenue Minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia have already conveyed the message to BJP national president Rajnath Singh regarding fielding Jaitley, Joshi said.
At BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s Fateh Rally at Jagran recently, the top Akali leadership had conveyed to Modi and Rajnath that they should replace Sidhu from Amritsar. Sidhu and his MLA wife Navjot Kaur were not present at the rally.
The couple had earlier entered into a war of words with the Badals alleging that Sidhu’s developmental works were being scuttled by them. However, they kept mum about his non-availability and absence from the city for almost his whole term as MP. Sidhu is a three time MP from here.