- He is upset that he isn't on list of Chhattisgarh campaigners: sources
- Mr Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur was denied ticket to Chandigarh seat
- Navjot Sidhu joined Congress in the run-up to the Punjab elections
Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who skipped work for nearly 20 days and remained incommunicado to make his displeasure known, now has more cause to be upset, sources close to him said. Mr Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur was denied ticket to the constituency of her choice - Chandigarh. The seat has gone to veteran leader Pawan Bansal as part of the party's plan to retain the sitting lawmakers in the state.
While no formal announcement has been made about Navjot Kaur, there was a buzz that she might be allotted the coveted Amritsar seat, from where Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had beaten BJP's Arun Jaitley in the 2014 national elections. The Congress, however, is fielding sitting lawmaker Gurjit Singh Aujla from Amritsar.
Navjot Sidhu had left the BJP after the party had fielded Arun Jaitley from Amritsar. But the minister, who joined the Congress in the run-up to the assembly elections, is miffed about not being invited to speak at a rally attended by party chief Rahul Gandhi in Moga, sources said.
Sources close to the minister said he is also upset that he is not on list of the party's star campaigners list for Chhattisgarh, though he remains in demand for campaigning across the country.
Over the last months, Mr Sidhu's troubled relation with boss, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, has taken a turn for the worse following his statements on Pakistan and its Prime Minister Imran Khan. The cricketer-turned politician has drawn censure across the board for allegedly giving more weight to his friendship with Imran Khan, than the nation.
Amarinder Singh had not minced words when last August, Navjot Sidhu was seen hugging the Pakistan army chief during his visit to Islamabad for Imran Khan's oath ceremony. "I'm against it... The man should understand that our soldiers are getting killed," the Chief Minister, a former army officer, had said.
Mr Sidhu had also ruffled feathers later in the year, when he attributed the Congress victory in the Chhattisgarh assembly elections to his campaigning in the state.
The Congress currently holds four of Punjab's 13 parliamentary seats. But despite its victory in the 2017 assembly elections, retaining the favour of the people in the coming national elections is seen as tricky. In pockets of the state, farmers have claimed the state government's implementation of the loan waiver scheme - one of its key pre-election promises - has been faulty.
In the 2014 elections, four Lok Sabha seats in the state were won by Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party and the rest by the Akali-BJP combine.