It is difficult to make out whether controversy always chases cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu or is it the other way round!
The latest on the block started when Sidhu, known for his motor-mouth, resigned as a Rajya Sabha MP of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday (July 18). Though he has still not specified the reason behind his move to the media, speculations are rife that he will be joining Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and will contest for the chief ministerial post in the upcoming assembly elections in Punjab against the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance government in the state.Sources said Sidhu might hold a press conference in New Delhi on Friday (July 22) post breaking his “maun vrat” (vow of silence) that he was observing for Guru Purnima (July 19), as claimed by his wife-BJP leader Navjot Kaur Sidhu.
While we all are eager to hear from Sidhu about his next plans as a politician, here are 10 interesting facts about him that you might want to know:
- Sidhu became very religious after his father Sardar Bhagwant Singh’s death. Everyday he gets up at 3 am for his morning prayers; post which he meditates and reads the Adi Granth, a religious scripture of the Sikhs.
- He is an ardent follower of Swami Vivekananda. It was in 1998 that he read a book by the spiritual leader and got inspired by his teachings and principles. “Swami Vivekananda changed my life,” Sidhu had said in an interview to The Telegraph.
- In 2006, Sidhu was convicted for culpable homicide and was sentenced to three years in prison in connection with a 1988 road rage incident, where he and his friend allegedly beat up 65-year-old Patiala resident Praveen Shah that reportedly led to his death.
- The ex-Punjab batsman had once slapped his senior Manoj Prabhakar in a hotel room when the latter stopped him from eating rasgullas (spongy cheese balls in sugary syrup) that he himself had brought. Sidhu made the revelation in ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ TV show few years back.
- He loves his cars, the most favourite of them being the Toyota Fortuner.
- His father Sardar Bhagwant Singh was a Congress man. The former Attorney General of Punjab was the Patiala unit president of the Congress.
- He got his nickname “Sherry” not after the alcoholic drink. He was often referred to as “Sher-e-Punjab” (Tiger of Punjab) due to his daring and don’t care attitude. The original one got shortened to “Sherry”.
- He joined cricket to make his father proud. So passionate was his father about the game that when at the age of 20, Sidhu was not selected in the Indian team, Sardar Bhagwant Singh reportedly had tears in his eyes.
- While Punjabi’s and non-veg, especially chicken dishes go hand-in-hand, Sidhu remains an exception. He is a vegetarian.
- Sidhu had quite a few stints with acting. He made cameos in Hindi films ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karogi’ (2004) and ‘ABCD 2’ (2015). He also acted in Punjabi film ‘Mera Pind’ (2008).
(Sources: The Telegraph, India TV, Top10 reviews, ScoopWhoop, Criclife, CricTracker, itimes.com)
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.