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07 December, 2006

SAD, BJP elated over 'respite'

Times of India
7 Dec 2006, Ramaninder K Bhatia,TNN, CHANDIGARH: On a day of nerve-racking wait and anxious moments, when two court judgments - one coming from Supreme Court and the other from Punjab and Haryana High Court - finally made their way to Punjab, they were received with mixed feelings by the concerned parties and individuals, especially with assembly elections just round the corner.
     The three-year sentence and Rs 1 lakh fine handed over to Navjot Singh Sidhu in the Gurnam Singh homicide case will not stop him from either campaigning for SAD-BJP nor rallying support for himself in the coming months. Smiles were back on the MP's and his supporters' faces when the court suspended the sentence, giving Sidhu time to file an appeal in SC. Party members of both SAD and BJP were delirious with joy.
     In fact, Punjab BJP had already prepared Sidhu's campaign schedule. "Sidhu would be going to Moga for the SAD-BJP rally to be held on December 8. The following two days will see him addressing rallies in Chandigarh and Amritsar, his constituency, respectively," revealed advocate Satpal Jain, former MP and senior BJP leader, who accompanied Sidhu and BJP national general secretary Arun Jaitley to the court on Wednesday.
     However, the sentence may only bring temporary reprieve to Sidhu on the personal front, if he does not get any relief from the SC in the form of his conviction being stayed there. Anything else would bar him from contesting the polls since the sentence awarded by the court is of more than two years. Meanwhile, BJP's ally SAD (B) is jubilant since the sentence would not stop Sidhu from campaigning. ...