Amritsar: Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu Thursday said he felt like being “an MP in an opposition party” in Punjab even though his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rules the state in coalition with the Akali Dal.
Sidhu, who remained “missing” from Amritsar for nearly eight months and returned only Wednesday, told media here Thursday that projects were not being completed in his constituency.
The cricketer-turned-politician, flanked by his legislator wife and Punjab chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) Navjot Kaur, took pot-shots at Punjab BJP leaders — with most of whom he has been at loggerheads — without naming anyone.
“I feel like being an MP in the opposition party even though the Akali Dal-BJP government is ruling in Punjab,” he said.
He said he was being told that there were no funds for projects in his constituency.
“How is it possible that all projects are completed within six months when Vidhan Sabha (assembly) elections are round the corner and now when Lok Sabha polls are approaching there are no funds,” he asked.
While saying that he respected Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal “like my father”, Sidhu decried the treatment meted out to him by the state government.
Sidhu was elected MP from Amritsar in 2004, again in 2006 in a by-election and then in 2009.
A local NGO had, earlier this month, put up posters around Amritsar declaring Sidhu as a “missing person” and even announcing a reward to anyone bringing him back.
Sidhu had done the vanishing act from Amritsar once earlier also.
Even though he stayed away from the constituency for eight months, he continued to make appearances on television shows as a cricket expert and even in comedy shows. He had participated in the TV reality show “Big Boss” last year.
Reacting to Sidhu’s outburst, Badal Thursday said it was “an internal matter of BJP and was their sole prerogative to satisfy him”.
Badal, who was in Una district of adjoining Himachal Pradesh, told media persons: “I don’t perceive any personal problem with Mr. Sidhu and if at all the MP has any grouse, then the state BJP leadership should take care of that.”