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Sidhu formally quits BJP

Parliament Monsoon session

New Delhi/Chandigarh : After a public falling- out with BJP, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu today formally resigned from the party, while his wife, a BJP MLA, said she would join him once he floats a political outfit in poll-bound Punjab.

Sidhu, who quit his Rajya Sabha membership on July 18 and had announced floating of a “non-political” platform, Awaz-e- Punjab, sent his resignation to BJP chief Amit Shah, making clear his intention to fight Punjab Assembly polls under the banner of a new political entity.

“I hereby resign from the primary membership of BJP. Long association (with BJP), painful decision…not my wife, children and party, but Punjab alone comes first. Punjab, Punjabiat and every Punjabi must win (sic),” Sidhu said in his letter.

“Navjot Singh Sidhu has sent his resignation from the primary membership of the party to Amit Shah. The party has accepted it,” Prabhat Jha, party in-charge of Punjab Affairs, said in New Delhi.

When Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur, BJP MLA from Amritsar (East), was asked if she will join her husband if he floats a political party, she said, “Definitely, I will be part of it.”

“Sidhu has to first float a (political) party. It (Awaaz- e-Punjab) is just a front, where only discussions take place. This front has intellectuals who talk about how to save Punjab,” she said.

“Of course I will (resign). I cannot join them without resigning,” she said when asked if she will resign from BJP. “I am only the MLA of my area. I am waiting for BJP to throw me out…they are misbehaving with me.

She said her husband had to formally submit his resignation to clear the air as a propaganda had started against him that he was acting as an agent to bring back the Badal government.

“I raised my voice for people. BJP workers who were humiliated at the hands of SAD and I had to do it because they were troubling them. And if they suspend me for my honesty and style of functioning, I will be thankful to them (BJP),” she said.

The 52-year-old former BJP leader, who had represented Amritsar in the Lok Sabha between 2004 and 2014, had accused BJP of using him as a “decorative piece” and trying to keep him out of Punjab.

The couple’s political future has been a subject of much speculation. Initially, there was a talk of their joining AAP and Navjot Singh becoming its face in the Assembly polls next year, but his bitter attack against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has ruled it out.

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