Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has distanced himself from active politics after he was dropped as party candidate in the Lok Sabha elections last year, may return to his political turf soon.
Sources close to the party said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) high command is seriously thinking to give a bigger responsibility to the Sikh face who had won three Lok Sabha elections from Amritsar. “There is a plan to start a mass rural voter contact programme in Punjab, which will be headed by Sidhu. The campaign will be informal and it will run without any fixed schedule. Sidhu will be touring to the villages in the state for at least six months. The RSS volunteers will assess Sidhu’s impact and send the report to the BJP high command. If the results are found favourable, he will be given overall responsibility of the Assembly elections,” a party source said.
Sources said incumbent Punjab BJP chief ‘s tenure will come to an end in January next year and the party is looking for his replacement. Sources close to the RSS said Sidhu, besides being a devout Sikh, also follows Hindu ideology. He performs Hindu rituals and has even installed a costly Shivalingam inside his newly build house in Amritsar last year. He is a Sikh face but is equally liked by the Hindus.
The RSS think tank feels Sidhu can help the party win 2017 Assembly elections in the state. Sidhu has proved his mettle in various elections during the past decade. He was one of the star campaigners in Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir. Senior BJP leaders, including the party’s national president Amit Shah, have hinted that the party may contest the Assembly elections independently if the state’s leaders were successful in magnetising the voters.