Navjot Sidhu suffocated by politics, says wife

AMRITSAR (TIP): Amritsar BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife, Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, on April 11 said her cricketer-turned-politician husband feels “suffocated in the system for his honesty and this has led to his alienation within the party”. She said Sidhu isn’t even allowed to select his own people in BJP’s Amritsar unit.

Kaur, who is a BJP MLA, said, “Being in a system, you need to be given liberty to choose your people, and if you don’t get that then the system suffocates you.” Earlier in the day she had posted a Facebook comment saying, “Sidhu has returned to the profession where he is respected”; in other words cricket – triggering speculation that he was ending his political career. Asked whether Sidhu would quit politics, Kaur said, “A person lives where he gets respect; we are in politics for respect and we don’t need anything more than that.” Kaur said she was reacting to messages on Facebook saying, ‘Sidhu gum gaya, gayab ho gaya’ (Sidhu has disappeared). “That was the trigger. I wanted to convey that he has not disappeared, he felt suffocated and has gone back to cricket and television,” she said. “He was suffocated because he couldn’t adjust his own trusted people even in the Amritsar BJP,” said Kaur.

For the past six months, Sidhu has remained largely out of Amritsar. Recalling how Sidhu was pulled out of a TV reality show and asked to campaign in Gujarat, she said, “He suffered a loss of Rs 6 crore for the party. He wanted to live in Amritsar, serve the people of his constituency and make his own team… If he has gone away, there must be some strong reason. He is not an irresponsible man.” Asked how long Sidhu would remain away from politics, she replied that it was for the party to decide. If he gets honour, it’s alright. Else he is happy with his cricketing career. Rejecting the possibility of switching political parties, Kaur said, “We both are not politicians. It was Atal Bihari Vajpayee who brought Sidhu into politics. We are not going to forget that.” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the party had nothing to say in light of her “clarification”. When TOI contacted Kaur, she said she stood by her day’s statements.

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