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Navjot Kaur Sidhu quits Congress months after being denied Lok Sabha ticket

FE Online
Navjot Kaur Sindhu, Congress

In a significant development that brings to fore the fissures within the Punjab unit of the party, Navjot Kaur Sidhu today announced her decision to step down as Amritsar MLA and has also resigned from the Congress. The resignation comes amid reports of rift between her and Congress leaders in the state.

The development comes days after Navjot Kaur, wife of cricketer turned politician and former state minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, had accused CM Amarinder Singh along with party leader Asha Kumari of denying a ticket for Lok Sabha polls earlier this year.

The rift between Amarinder Singh and Sidhu came to fore after the latter was upset by the CM’s attempts to allegedly sideline him in the state cabinet. Earlier this year, when the CM to shift Navjot Singh Sidhu from Local Bodies to Power ministry, the latter was reportedly upset and did not join the ministry for days.

"Captain Sahib (Amarinder Singh) and Asha Kumari think Madam Sidhu does not deserve an MP ticket. I was denied the ticket from Amritsar on the ground that I could not win," Navjot Kaur had said ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Congress then chose Pawan Kumar Bansal to contest from Chandigarh.

Asked about his wife’s allegations against Singh, Navjot Singh Sidhu firmly stood behind her, saying she would never lie. At the time, he was Tourism and Culture minister in the Punjab cabinet.

Last year, Sidhu visited Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Pakistan PM Imran Khan on his invitation and sparked a massive row back home by embracing the Pakistan army chief. Defending his stand, he said that the general was referring to Pakistan’s decision to open the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims, that would allow their passage to the place where Guru Nanak Dev spent his last days.