Bharatiya Janata Party leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, 52, quit his seat as a Member of Parliament on Monday, only months after being nominated to the Rajya Sabha by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This set off intense speculation the cricketer-turned-politician may be switching gears to Aam Aadmi Party.
"At behest of PM, I had accepted RS nomination for welfare of Punjab," said Sidhu. "With closure of every window leading to Punjab the purpose stands defeated, now a mere burden. I prefer not to carry it. In the war of right or wrong, you can’t afford to be neutral rather than being self-centered."
Sidhu's resignation from the Upper House was accepted by Chairman Hamid Ansari with immediate effect.
As Scroll.in had previously reported, shortly after taking oath as a member of Rajya Sabha, Sidhu broke his long silence on Punjab politics. He said he was not in favour of the BJP continuing its alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal and emphasised that while he would be available to campaign for the party anywhere in the country, he will not do so in Punjab.
He also indicated that his wife, Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who is a BJP MLA in Punjab, would not contest the next Assembly elections unless BJP parted ways with the Akali Dal.
Tweets by some AAP leaders have fuelled speculation that Sidhu will play a big role in the party's campaign for the Punjab elections next year.
AAP's state-in-charge, Sanjay Singh tweeted, "Navjot Singh Sidhu has taken a courageous step by resigning as a BJP member from the Rajya Sabha. I welcome his decision."
The party's campaign committee chairman and Sangrur MP, Bhagwant Mann has also said, "If he joins our party, we will welcome him with open arms."
Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur, a Parliamentary secretary in Punjab SAD-BJP government, is also set to resign, say reports.
BJP fans on Twitter weren't happy with Sidhu's decision.