Sidhu's future uncertain as his resignation is accepted

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh with Navjot Singh Sidhu. (PTI File Photo)

With Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh accepting the resignation of Navjot Singh Sidhu from the state cabinet on Saturday, Sidhu's political future has entered an uncertain zone.

Amarinder’s decision, taken after he returned to Chandigarh on Saturday, comes even as senior leaders in the AICC, including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, reportedly advised putting Sidhu’s resignation on hold.

Sidhu had been camping in the national capital hoping he would have the last word. That hasn’t happened. Amarinder's decision to finally approve Sidhu’s resignation rules out possibilities of Sidhu’s re-entry, at least for now, into active Punjab politics. The war between the two Congress leaders has now escalated with Amarinder proving yet again that he’s the boss.

Sidhu is on crossroads with multiple options to stay afloat politically, including switching sides to another political party. He might also be asked to settle for a plum Congress organisational post in the AICC.

The Punjab Congress is presently headless after Sunil Jakhar resigned from the president's post after being defeated by actor-turned-politician Sunny Deol of the BJP. Sidhu might be lucky to be offered to head the state Congress. But his prospects will be met by severe resistance from Amarinder and other senior Congress leaders.

Sidhu is known for his outspoken tendencies. Even while he was a Cabinet minister, he often left the Congress leadership embarrassed with his subtle criticism of Amarinder.

Sidhu’s rebellious ways will harm the Congress party in the long run. But that’s a calculated risk Amarinder has preferred given that there’s plenty of time for things to settle down with elections in Punjab still three years away. Sidhu quit his cabinet berth. His next move is much awaited.

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