'Missing' Navjot Sidhu in Amritsar after eight months

Amritsar, Sep 4 : He may have been making TV appearances almost daily but BJP's Lok Sabha member from Amritsar Navjot Singh Sidhu was "missing" from his constituency for nearly eight months. Wednesday, he returned.

Wife Navjot Kaur and some party leaders received Sidhu at the Amritsar international airport.

Sidhu kept away from the constituency owing to serious differences with the Punjab Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership. He was also upset as BJP president Rajnath Singh sidelined him at the national level.

The cricketer-turned-politician continued to appear on television channels as a cricket expert and even in laughter shows. He participated in TV reality show "Big Boss" last year.

A non-governmental organisation had, earlier this month, put up posters around Amritsar declaring Sidhu a "missing person" and even announcing a reward to anyone bringing him back.

Sidhu's wife, Navjot Kaur, a chief parliamentary secretary in the Punjab government, had recently tried to defend Sidhu's absence. She even met senior BJP leaders and ministers to clear misunderstandings on behalf of her husband.

Sidhu, considered close to previous BJP president Nitin Gadkari, was a national secretary of the party during Gadkari's tenure. He was miffed with the party after Rajnath Singh did not name him in the new BJP team.

Sidhu did not attend the Sankalp Rally of the BJP's new strongman, Narendra Modi, near Pathankot June 23. He even skipped a July state party executive meeting held in Amritsar.

Earlier in 2009, upset with BJP leaders, he vanished from his constituency for three months.

Sidhu won the Amritsar seat thrice - in 2004, 2006 (by-election) and 2009. From a victory margin of over 110,000 votes in 2004, Sidhu managed to win the seat by just over 7,500 votes in May 2009.

--IANS (Posted on 04-09-2013)

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