New Delhi: In a jolt to BJP in Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday resigned from Rajya Sabha, only about three months after his nomination by the government, as speculation raged that he could join Aam Aadmi Party and be its face in the Assembly polls next year.
The resignation of 52-year-old Sidhu, who was nominated on April 22, has been accepted by Chairman Hamid Ansari with immediate effect, the House was informed today, according to a report by PTI.
While he was not available for comments, there is talk of Sidhu joining the AAP ahead of the state elections and may be made the party's face in the state. Sidhu did not answer calls made to him.
In a brief statement on his resignation, Sidhu did not reveal much about his future plans but there were indications that he was miffed with the state of affairs in his party.
"Today Sardar Navjoyot sidhu has resigned from RS.
"At the behest of the honourable PM, I had accepted the Rajya Sabha nomination for the welfare of punjab.
"With the closure of every window leading to Punjab the purpose stands defeated. It is now a mere burden. I prefer not to carry it.
"In the war of right or wrong, you can't afford to be neutral rather than being self-centered. Punjab's interest is paramount," said the 52-year-old former cricketer-turned politician, who had represented Amritsar in the Lok Sabha between 2004 and 2014.
Sidhu has been unhappy with the top BJP leadership since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, and never shied away from expressing his feelings. Sources said that the fromer cricketer turn politician has been miffed with the party ever since he made way way for Arun Jaitley in Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency in the last General Elections.
His wife, Navjot Kaur, who is Chief Parliamentary Secretary in Punjab where BJP shares power with Akali Dal, had created a flutter on April 1 (April Fool's day) announcing her resignation from the BJP.
"The burden is over," she had written on her Facebook post on April 1, but after a meeting with top BJP leaders in Delhi, she said, "All is well" and she is very much a part of BJP in Punjab.
Both Sidhu and his wife share an uneasy relationship with the Akali leadership and have made open attacks on Akali Dal and its leadership on governance issues.
Meanwhile, within hours of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu resigning from the Rajya Sabha, a top leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) welcomed him and his wife, BJP legislator Navjot Kaur Sidhu, to the party.
"Appreciate Navjot Sidhu and Dr. Navjot Kaur Sidhu Move, looking forward for their Welcome to @AAPPunjab2017 @AamAadmiParty @DrDrnavjotsidhu," AAP's Punjab state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur tweeted on Monday.
"Navjot Singh Sidhu is most welcomed to join @AamAadmiParty @sherryontopp @AAPPunjab2017," Chhotepur tweeted earlier.
Talks are already on that Sidhu and his wife have take a decision join the AAP and become its CM face.