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India

As Sidhu Surrenders, All He Has In His Company Are ‘Formers’ And ‘Exes’ Like Himself

In the morning, before he left for Patiala jail, a motley crowd of Congress leaders and workers, most of whom have a prefix of ‘ex’ or ‘former’ before their official designations, reached out to him.

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu surrenders in the CJM court, in Patiala, Friday, May 20, 2022, a day after he was awarded one year in prison by the Supreme Court in a 1988-road rage case. (PTI Photo)

Chandigarh: In the past year, cricketer-turned-television personality-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu’s luck has behaved like volatile stocks.

In the morning, before he left for Patiala jail, a motley crowd of Congress leaders and workers, most of whom have a prefix of ‘ex’ or ‘former’ before their official designations, reached out to him. Navtej Singh Cheema, ex-MLA from Sultanpur Lodhi, who was there to offer moral support to Sidhu, also drove him to the Patiala court, where he surrendered on Friday.

Sidhu himself has one common prefix of a ‘former’ tagged to many of the designations he boasts of – ex-cricketer and commentator, ex-television personality, former PPCC chief, and a former legislator. And likewise, the people who came to meet him were none other than former MLAs or the ones expelled. Surjit Dhiman, who was recently expelled from Congress for speaking against Amarinder Singh Raja Warring was the first to visit his house at Patiala in the morning. Dhiman is the former Amargarh MLA.

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He was followed by Jagdev Singh Kamalu, the former MLA from Maur. Pirmal Singh Dhaula, the ex-MLA of Bhadaur too was at Sidhu’s residence. Dhaula lost to Labh Singh Ugoke of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) from Bhaduar. Hardyal Singh Kamboj the ex-Rajpura and Kaka Rajinder Singh, the ex-MLA of Ganaur was also by Sidhu’s side.

Towards the evening, Sidhu did get a call from Priyanka Gandhi who told him, “Be strong. The Congress party is with you.”

Yesterday, when he rode an elephant, to metaphorically suggest that inflation had assumed elephantine proportions in the country, he may not have realised that in the road rage case in which he was buried, now he would face conviction in the same case. Everything was in his favour.

Notably, one of the authors of the earlier Supreme Court judgment which had let him off in this case of road rage with a fine of Rs 1,000 was Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul. Yesterday too, Justice Kaul was part of the division bench which this time around owing to his guilt of voluntarily causing hurt under Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code IPC handed him one-year rigorous imprisonment.

Eight Months Ago He Was At The Top Of The World

Eight months ago, he singlehandedly pulled down Captain Amarinder Singh as the Chief Minister of Punjab. Captain exited the Congress party then.

A little before that, he was appointed as the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president. However, luck ran out soon for him when Charanjit Singh Channi was appointed the Chief Minister of Punjab. Sidhu was left high and dry.

Later, Channi was announced as the chief ministerial candidate by the Congress and about a month later, he lost the elections to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha from Amritsar East. Subsequently, he was asked to resign as PPCC chief.

Since then, Sidhu has been a directionless rolling stone. Chalking his own course and career within the Congress, yet without it. And now he has landed in Patiala jail where a former friend of Sidhu, Bikram Singh Majithia awaits him.