Is Sidhu being replaced from Amritsar? BJP central election committee to discuss on Saturday
The BJP's central election committee will finalise the candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Former cricketer and BJP MP from Amritsar fears that he may be replaced. The BJP central election committee will be discussing the candidates for three seats in Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur.
Sidhu had been facing criticism for spending more time on TV shows and cricket commentary.
The BJP is also worried over Sidhu's open spat with alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), especially his personal attack against Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal.
Though the state unit of the party had recommended the three names for the constituency including that of Sidhu, the high command is wary of the ground situation which is not favourable to Sidhu. He is facing the strongest ever anti-incumbency factor and party has left no other option but to 'adjust' Sidhu elsewhere. There are also indications that Sidhu might be adjusted in Rajya Sabha.
Sidhu did not even participate in the huge 'fateh rally' of the SAD-BJP, organized recently at Ludhiana.
To replace him, the name of BJP national leader Arun Jaitley had been doing the rounds but he has not opened his cards yet. If party decides that Jaitley had to continue heading the national election campaign the other option is BJP's local influential and rich Jat Sikh leader Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina. He is the vice president of the party and enjoys a rapport with the party high command too. Chhina is also close to Aklali leaders including Badals and local; prominent Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia, which might go in his favour.
A staunch rival of Sidhu, Chhina who had been Chairman of Improvement Trust and Punjab Small Scale Industries and Export Corporation is a popular face in the city as he is President of educational and social and cultural organizations. The name of former BJP Minister Baldev Raj Chawla had also been doing the rounds but this being a Sikh seat with 64 per cent voters as Sikh; the party might decide to field a Sikh candidate only.
At Gurdaspur party seemed almost decided on the name of actor turned politician Vinod Khanna though other leader Swaran Salaria is also in the race. From Hoshiarpur, ex-MP Som Parkash is likely to be fielded again by the party.
(Posted on 07-03-2014)