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History stands against Sidhu. These 6 leaders left BJP only to fail

Sadiq Naqvi | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:48 IST

Cricketer-turned BJP leader, Navjot Singh Sidhu, has resigned as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha and he is expected to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) soon. Known for his often repetitive one-liners since he left active cricket in 1999, he wrote in his resignation letter, "In the war of right or wrong, you can\'t afford to be neutral rather than being self-centered. Punjab\'s interest is paramount."

Trouble between Sidhu and the BJP started during the run-up to the the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 when on the Akali Dal\'s advise, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley chose to contest the elections from Amritsar. The move had upset Sidhu, who was the sitting MP. He did not actively took part in Jaitley\'s election campaign. Even as BJP swept all of North India, riding on the Modi wave, Jaitley was one of the few people who lost, despite his proximity to Modi. He was defeated by more than one lakh votes by Congress\' Captain Amarinder Singh.

Also read - Bold moves: Will BJP\'s Sidhu join AAP and become its Punjab CM candidate?

Recently, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi\'s intervention, he was offered a place in the Upper House.

Reports attributed to sources in the AAP suggest that Sidhu may be the party\'s CM face in Punjab. AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal has already "saluted" Sidhu in a tweet on Monday evening.

With the BJP-SAD alliance government facing a massive anti-incumbency, magnified by allegations that the SAD leadership is hands-in-gloves with the drug mafia, the AAP sees Punjab as a state where it could possibly come to power. However, the AAP is also a divided house in the state and it is not clear how Sidhu\'s entry would make any difference.

Moreover, if the past is any indication, leaders who left BJP rarely succeeded. Some even had to return to their parent party, with their tail between their legs.

There are many examples which Sidhu could have looked up to before he decide to jump ship.

Kalyan Singh

The Lodh leader from UP, was the face of the Ram Mandir movement in UP, the largest state, which single-handedly propelled the BJP as a national player. Singh, a two-time Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, had quit the BJP in 2009. His son Rajvir Singh briefly joined the SP. The SP later blamed the Singh leader for its poor performance, especially with the Muslims deserting the party. Singh, later formed his own outfit, Jan Kranti Dal, with his son as the leader. The new party could not take off. Singh, who has since come closer to the BJP again, is now serving as the Governor of Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.

Babulal Marandi

Marandi, the Santhal leader from Giridih, served as the first Chief Minister of Jharkhand from 2000 to 2005. A tall tribal leader, who served as the BJP's state unit president, in 1998 the party won an impressive 12 Lok Sabha seats in the Jharkhand region. Marandi's problems with the party started in 2003 when Arjun Munda was made the Chief Minister of the coalition government. Marandi, who won the Lok Sabha elections in 2004, resigned and floated his own Jharkhand Vikas Morcha in 2006. The party was wiped out in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with the BJP winning 12 Lok Sabha seats. Not just this, even in the Assembly Elections, the party won just eight seats out of which six MLAs later joined the BJP.

BS Yeddyurappa

The tallest Lingayat leader from Karnataka, BS Yeddyurappa served as the Chief Minister of Karnataka first in 2007 and then again from 2008 to 2011, when he had to resign after indictment by the Lokayukta for his role in the iron-ore scam. After he was sacked, Yeddyurappa formed his own outfit, Karnataka Janata Paksha and contested the 2013 Assembly elections. The presence of his outfit in the elections, ensured BJP's loss in the only south Indian state where it managed to form a government earlier. Yeddyurappa finally joined the BJP in 2014 and now serves as the president of the state unit.

Madanlal Khurana

Once the most important BJP leader in the National Capital, Khurana was active in politics from 1960s to 2004. Someone who started his political career with the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Khurana went on to become the Chief Minister of Delhi in 1993 and also served as a minister in the Union Cabinet.

He was fired first in 2005 for speaking out against BJP veteran LK Advani and then again for speaking out in favour of Uma Bharti, who too, had been expelled from the BJP. Khurana's political career ended with his exit from the BJP, and the senior leader now lives the life of a retired politician despite coming back to the party.

Uma Bharti

Presently the Union Minister for Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation, Bharti, came to the fore with her firebrand Hindutva politics and her role in the Ram Mandir movement. She was present when Babri Masjid was brought down in 1992 by a mob of karsevaks. The Liberhan Commission of Enquiry indicted her for inciting the mobs on 6 December, 1992.

Bharti, later went to Madhya Pradesh, where she managed to wrest the state from the Congress in a spectacular victory in the 2003 Assembly elections. She had to resign as the chief minister, an year later in 2004 after warrants were issued for her role in the Hubli riots. She had a bitter fallout with the BJP, and with her mentor Lal Krishna Advani, when the party did not re-appoint her as the Chief Minister. Bharti then went on to form her own outfit, the Bhartiya Janshakti Party, which failed to make any mark in either MP or neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.

She was inducted into the party again in 2011, but her presence has been overshadowed with the party promoting other leaders from the two biggest states. Her politics, since, hovers around Ganga and the uphill task of its cleaning.

Keshubhai Patel

A Pracharak of the RSS, Patel went on to become the Chief Minister of Gujarat first in 1995 and then again in 1998 when he served till 2001. Once the tallest leader of the BJP in the state, riding on the support from his Patel community, he was replaced by Narendra Modi as the chief minister for his mishandling of the relief work post the earthquake in Bhuj.

Patel, relegated to the sidelines, is said to have tacitly supported the Congress in 2007, even as BJP won the elections. He later formed the Gujarat Parivartan Party, which managed to win just two Assembly seats in 2012, including his own. With no success, the GPP merged with the BJP in 2014.

More in Catch - Punjab's interest is paramount, says Navjot Singh Sidhu post resignation

Navjot Singh Sidhu is part of AAP, according to his Wikipedia page

First published: 18 July 2016, 10:27 IST