Rajnath tries to placate Navjot Singh Sidhu as Congress makes overture

Navjot Singh SidhuBJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu is keen to change his constituency following his differences with top Akali leaders in the area. (IE Photo: Lalit Kumar)

BJP president Rajnath Singh today stepped in to pacify sulking party MP Navjot Singh Sidhu who is said to be upset with the party leadership for "sidelining" and "ignoring" him.

Singh spoke to Sidhu in the morning and assured him of looking into his grievances, sources close to the BJP president said.

The Amristar MP will meet Singh in the capital after the ongoing IPL cricket tournament gets over, they said.

Sidhu was not available for comments as he is busy with his commitments in the IPL season.

As the story of Sidhu's probable exit from politics gained momentum, Congress MLA from Amritsar West, Raj Kumar Verka, invited him to join Congress.

"I have sent the proposal to Rahul Gandhi to welcome Navjot Sidhu in Congress. Sidhu's mother fought on Congress ticket for MLA twice.

''His father remained Patiala district president of Congress. The children should follow the footsteps of parents. Sidhu made a mistake by joining BJP. He is the right man in wrong party. I invite him to come back to the party with which his parents were associated," Verka said in Amritsar on Thursday.

The cricketer-turned-politician has been sulking for quite some time and the matter precipitated after he was recently dropped from Singh's new list of BJP office-bearers. He was secretary in BJP during Nitin Gadkari's tenure as president.

Sidhu is also keen to change his constituency following his differences with top Akali leaders in the area, including Punjab minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia.

Majithia, brother-in-law of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, is the in-charge of Akali in the area.

Sidhu has won from the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency thrice. His wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu won as an MLA from Amritsar in the 2012 Punjab Assembly elections.

Though Sidhu has remained silent, his wife, who is also a Parliamentary Secretary for Health in the state government, has made utterances about Sidhu not contesting the Amritsar seat again after being "ignored" by the party.

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