Chandigarh: Within hours of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu resigning from the Rajya Sabha, top leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) including Arvind Kejriwal welcomed him and his wife, BJP legislator Navjot Kaur Sidhu, to the party.
"People can give their right hand for an Rajya Sabha seat. Ever seen a sitting RS MP resigning to save his state? I salute Sidhu ji for his courage," Kejriwal tweeted.
People can give their rt hand for an RS seat. Ever seen a sitting RS MP resigning to save his state? I salute Sidhu ji for his courage
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 18, 2016
Navjot Singh Sidhu, Bharatiya Janata Party's former Lok Sabha member thrice elected from Amritsar and nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the Narendra Modi government in April, on Monday tendered his resignation from the Upper House, sparking speculation that he may join the AAP.
"Appreciate Navjot Sidhu and Dr. Navjot Kaur Sidhu Move, looking forward for their Welcome to @AAPPunjab2017 @AamAadmiParty @DrDrnavjotsidhu," AAP's Punjab state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur tweeted on Monday.
The resignation letter of Sidhu was addressed to Ansari who is Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
"Navjot Singh Sidhu is most welcomed to join @AamAadmiParty @sherryontopp @AAPPunjab2017," Chhotepur tweeted earlier.
"Navjot Singh Sidhu, nominated member, resigns from Rajya Sabha," Gurdeep Singh Sappal, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Vice President Hamid Ansari, said in a tweet.
The resignation came as a big surprise to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which shares power with the Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab. The state is expected to go to the polls early next year.
Reacting to the development, AAP leader Sanjay Singh told television channels: "We welcome the resignation of Sidhu from the Rajya Sabha. It is a bold move. For other queries you have, it's all premature."
He also said the resignation of Sidhu from the Rajya Sabha is seen as a "protest" against the ongoing Akali-BJP dispensation in Punjab.
"All right-minded people should join this dharam yudh (righteous battle) against corruption," the AAP leader said.
The AAP is seen as a strong contender for power in Punjab.
If Sidhu joins the AAP, he could be the party's chief ministerial candidate.