Former international cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu joined politics in 2004 when he contested from Amritsar in Punjab on a BJP ticket. His father Bhagwant Singh had been Punjab’s Advocate General and a member of the Congress party in the state.
Hailing from Patiala, Sidhu became an international cricketer in the 1980s and quit in the 1999. Famous for his stodgy batting style and quiet nature, Sidhu transformed into a Cricket commentator, tv personality and politician after retiring from Cricket.
He won from Amritsar in 2009 as well but was asked to not contest in 2014 by his party, BJP. Arun Jaitley was made the candidate from the seat in his place. He quit the BJP in 2016 after he had been made a member of the Rajya Sabha. He joined the Indian National Congress in 2017 and contested the elections from Amritsar East for the Punjab Legislative Assembly.
He now serves as a minister in the Punjab government, led by Amarinder Singh. Sidhu has worked as Cricket commentator in both English and Hindi languages. He became popular for his unique style of commentary. His loquaciousness led to him becoming a judge on different tv shows thus making him more popular. A very popular campaigner, he is now one of the star campaigners for the Congress party.
Sidhu has been plagued by different controversies through his life. In a 1988 case, he was accused of culpable homicide. He was accused of hitting a man after an argument which led to his death. In 2017, the Supreme Court acquitted him of homicide and held him guilty of causing hurt. This did not lead to him losing his membership of the legislative assembly.
As a cricketer, he walked out of an Indian Test team on tour in England in 1996 when he had a dispute with captain Mohammad Azharuddin. He returned to the team later and retired in 1999.
Recently, he has been attacked for advocating peace with Pakistan and for his friendly relations with Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan.