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From 22 yards to hardcore politics: Times when Navjot Singh Sidhu made straight to the headlines

From a 22-yard cricket pitch to the hardcore political battleground, Navjot Singh Sidhu has dominated it all. However, his innings have not always been known for the winning runs. The cricketer-turned-politician has over the period of years made many comments and gestures that have stoked controversies. Here we look at a few that blew out of proportion.

Abhro Banerjee Written by: Abhro Banerjee @AbhroBanerjee1 New Delhi Updated on: May 19, 2022 19:20 IST
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu rides an elephant during
Image Source : PTI

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu rides an elephant during a protest march over inflation amid a hike in prices of petrol, diesel and LPG cylinders, in Patiala on May 19, 2022.

Navjot Singh Sidhu news: Cricketer-turned-politician, Navjot Singh Sidhu was sentenced to one year in jail after the Supreme Court reviewed a road rage case from 1988 on Thursday. Not just in his political career, but also during his cricketing times, Sidhu, had times and over been at the centre stage of many controversies. Let's look at some of these events that made headlines. 

Navjot Singh Sidhu hugs Pak Army Chief General Bajwa

During the oath-taking ceremony of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Navjot Singh Sidhu hugged Pakistani Army Chief General Bajwa in Islamabad. Ex-Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh slammed Sidhu's move and said that "he was not in favour of Sidhu's gesture towards Bajwa." Former Punjab CM's statement came after Navjot Singh Sidhu justified his hug with Bajwa in front of Indian media at the Attari-Wagah- border after his return. The Cricketer-turned-politician claimed that he embraced Army Chief when he assured him of taking up the issue of giving free passage to Gurudwara Kartar Sahib, near Dera Baba Nanak.

Sidhu leaves India's 1996 England tour

Navjot Singh Sidhu left the team during an ongoing India tour in England in 1996. The cricketer was, at that point, an opening batsman for the Indian cricket team when the incident happened. But once back in India, Sidhu, refused to inform the committee why he had taken that drastic decision and was even ready to face any consequences.  Many years later, however, it got revealed that the cricketer-turned-politician left the tour because abusive words were used by the then captain of the Indian cricket team Mohammad Azharuddin.

Navjot Singh-Amarinder Punjab leadership controversy

Last year, the country witnessed a fiery battle between former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Punjab Congress Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. It was evident that the duo were at loggerheads while the party — Congress — was struggling to keep itself afloat in Punjab. Navjot Singh Sidhu was appointed as the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) by Sonia Gandhi, despite a major opposition by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Gandhi also appointed four working presidents to assist Sidhu in the run-up to the next assembly elections, which the eventually lost to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) The appointments came after days of internal squabbling and public bickering that virtually divided the state unit between two factions owing allegiance to Singh and Sidhu.

Navjot's 'can you blame the entire nation' comment after Pulwama attack

Strongly condemning the "cowardly" attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama by a Pakistan-based terror group in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed, Navjot Singh Sidhu had asked whether an entire nation can be blamed for a handful of people. Forty CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district. The cricketer-turned-politician, who was among the invitees for the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistan prime minister last year, however, posed, "For a handful of people, can you blame the entire nation and can you blame an individual?"

Also Read: Navjot Singh Sidhu gets one year jail in 1988 road rage case

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