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Captain’s Lunch Diplomacy: Sherry… On Top?

File photos of Navjot Singh Sidhu and Captain Amarinder Singh.

File photos of Navjot Singh Sidhu and Captain Amarinder Singh.

What is the final outcome of Harish Rawat’s efforts to patch things up and get Navjot Singh Sidhu a key role in the Cabinet will be out in the open soon.

From letting his bat talk in the international cricket arena to commentary box and television entertainment show Navjot Singh Sidhu, fondly known as Sherry Bhaji, is one man who has been a crowd puller because of his gift of the gab. But on the political pitch he often suffered because of the same outspokenness. After winning hearts of Punjabis the world over for his efforts in getting the Kartarpur Sahib Langha open for pilgrims, he got in trouble over his remark on blaming one person for the Pulwama attack in Kashmir.

After the resignation by Sidhu from the Amarinder Singh Cabinet in 2019, Captain’s lunch diplomacy is at play to host Sidhu to another entry into the Cabinet fold in the election year. His wait for getting a plum role in the party at the national or state level seems to be ready for culmination back into arms of now a politically stronger Captain Amarinder Singh’s arms.

Amarinder has once again consolidated his position after an overwhelming win in the last local body polls. The second lunch date between the two leaders is set for March 17, the first one was on November 25. Since then a lot has transpired as the Congress party Punjab Affairs in-charge, Harish Rawat, who was rallying for Sidhu and trying to patch things between them, has now confirmed that Amarinder would be the face for the CM’s post.

Who will be party’s CM face had also been questioned by legendary Hockey player Pargat Singh, Sidhu’s close aide. This was followed by Rawat putting an end to the controversy before it could escalate into another open rift in the party.

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From holding crowds in cricket to commentary box and political stages for the BJP and later for the Congress, the ace cricketer Sidhu mastered these turfs and is in a league of his own. It was his decision to dabble into the fiery field of politics that the debate is always on if he has found the place he always dreamt and aspired for.

Still a novice or too ambitious too soon, the jury is out on Sidhu.

The BJP calls him a traitor for ditching the BJP and then flirting with Aam Aadmi Party and his rivals within the Congress like MP Ravneet Singh Bittu have suggested that he float his own party if he cannot follow party decorum following his outbursts at his own colleagues at the Moga rally addressed by Rahul Gandhi.

When it came to the issue of Punjab farmers’ struggle against the Centre’s farm bills, Sidhu has been vocal in the Vidhan Sabha and also took to social media platforms to voice his opinion. In his quintessential style, Sidhu has often openly taken on Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia as well.

What is the final outcome of Harish Rawat’s efforts to patch things up and get Sidhu an important role in the state will be out in the open soon after tomorrow’s lunch date at the Captain’s farmhouse. With Sidhu back in the saddle with the likely choice of ministry, the Cabinet reshuffle is not far. It remains to be seen whether he gets local bodies, power or excise ministry.