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Sidhu, Oberoi join BJP bandwagon

February 17, 2004 18:28 IST
Last Updated: February 17, 2004 22:00 IST

Cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu and celluloid stars Suresh Oberoi and Gajendra Singh Chauhan on Tuesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of party chief M Venkaiah Naidu saying that it was the only party, which had leaders who were capable of taking the nation forward.

Sidhu was at his best with his well-known 'Sidhuisms' on the leadership capability of Vajpayee. "Under his leadership we can convert weakness into strength, destruction into triumph and obstacles into stepping stones," he said.

The cricketer, who has a contract with the Ten Sports channel for the upcoming cricket tour of Pakistan by the Indian team, endorsed the apprehensions in some quarters whether the tour would take place or not.

"It was a question of security and the government had the right to ensure their (players) safety," he said.

Recalling his visit to Pakistan in 1989 with the Indian cricket team, he said the players from both sides had the best of relations. "In fact the Pakistani players used to take their counterparts out for shopping," he said.

He said the decision to go ahead with the tour showed that 'lot of good had happened between the two countries and the language of goodwill is now on'.

Sidhu said the only thing he apprehended was that 'one stray incident can be really blown out of proportion'.

Asked about his views on former BJP chief Bangaru Laxman being caught on camera accepting cash, Sidhu said, "I have not yet started in the party and you want to take my exam so soon."

On his decision to join the BJP, Oberoi said, "Under the leadership of Vajpayee, we are proud to be Indians as we have seen the work of the government and its results."

He said it was under the BJP-led NDA government that India's image has gone up even abroad.

Asked about his actor son Vivek Oberoi and whether he would encourage him to follow in his footsteps, BJP general secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi came to his rescue. "I told him they (media) will ask you about your son and you give them the same reply as Sonia Gandhi," Naqvi said.

When asked about her children, Gandhi had said that they would take a decision on their own.

The 58-year old Oberoi, born in Quetta in Pakistan, is an accomplished actor and has acted in various languages, including English, French and Japanese apart from Hindi.

The other entrant was 48-year-old Gajendra Chauhan, who had played the role of Yudhistra in the popular TV serial Mahabharat.

Chauhan, who had been campaigning for the BJP for the last ten years, would now do so as a member of the party.

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