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Congress hit by a double whammy in Punjab on torrid Thursday

Navjot Singh Sidhu with Sunil Jakhar. (File Photo)

The Congress Party was hit by a double whammy in Punjab on Thursday with one of its leaders quitting the party to join the BJP while the other was sentenced to jail by the Supreme Court for one year in a 34-year-old road rage case.

Political veteran Sunil Jakhar who has been at loggerheads with the Congress high command, quit the party and jumped onto the BJP bandwagon. The saffron party enthusiastically welcomed the new entrant.

A sizeable number of Jakhar's friends and supporters within the Congress are reported to be considering switching over to the BJP as well in the next few days which will represent a further setback to the Congress.

The second blow to the Congress today was Rahul Gandhi's chum Navjot Singh Sidhu being sentenced by the Supreme Court to one year in jail in a 1988 road rage case. Sidhu and his friend had thrashed a Patiala resident who later died in hospital.

The 58-year-old cricketer-turned politician has tweeted that he will submit to the majesty of the law. As per reports Sidhu will be lodged in Patiala's central jail where his arch rival Bikram Singh Majithia of the Shiromani Akali Dal is behind bars in a drug case. Majithia had contested the Assembly election against Sidhu from the Amritsar East constituency.

Captain Amarinder Singh, former Chief Minister of Punjab,  said in a tweet that Jakhar is now in the right party. Earlier, Navjot Singh Sidhu had come in support of Jakhar and had pleaded with the high command not to lose such a gem of a person.

Reacting to Navjot Singh Sidhu's sentence, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal said that at last justice has been done to the victim's family. He said Sidhu had been playing cat and mouse with the law for a long time.

Jakhar had been a member of Parliament and also president of the state unit of the party. Prior to the allocation of tickets by the party for the just concluded Assembly elections, Jakhar had announced his retirement from active politics but he seems to have taken a U-turn. He had managed to get a ticket for his nephew who contested and won from Abohar. The nephew continues to remain in Congress.

Also Read: Navjot Sidhu sentenced to one year of rigorous imprisonment in 34-year-old road rage case