Cricketer-turned- politician Navjot Singh Sidhu will be joining the Congress "very soon" and contesting from the Amritsar East constituency in the upcoming Assembly elections in Punjab. This announcement was made by his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu on Wednesday while speaking to the media.
Punjab goes to the polls on 4 February and the results will be announced along with Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur on 11 March.
Sidhu's choice of constituency isn't surprising. Amritsar East is the seat held by his wife, who won in 2012 on a BJP ticket.
At Congress state president Captain Amarinder Singh has firmly declared that only one ticket will be given per family, it is likely that Sidhu's wife would not be contesting the polls.
The Sidhu impact was particularly evident in this seat during the 2014 General Elections when Amarinder Singh was the Congress candidate for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat against BJP's Arun Jaitley. Amarinder Singh led Jaitley by over 32,000 votes.
This was the highest margin for Amarinder among all the unreserved constituencies in Amritsar. His lead in Amritsar West (SC) was higher - about 37,000.
Clearly, Sidhu had thrown his weight behind Amarinder against his party's nominee Jaitley.
Another thing that goes in Sidhu's favour in Amritsar East is that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is supposed to be comparatively weak in this constituency.
Sidhu has chosen a safe seat, one that was earlier held by his wife. It seems that the former Amritsar MP is now padding up for a prominent ministerial role, perhaps even as Deputy CM of Punjab, in case the Congress wins the elections.