Navjot Sidhu still negotiating terms of joining AAP in Punjab

  • Jatin Gandhi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 15, 2016 22:34 IST
Navjot Sidhu, who was to join the AAP on August 14, is still in talks with its leader Arvind Kejriwal. (Raj K Raj/ HT File Photo)

Differences seem to have cropped up between former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Navjot Singh Sidhu and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over the terms of his joining the party and campaigning for it in the Punjab assembly elections. AAP sources said Sidhu, who was to join the party on August 14, is still in talks with its leader Arvind Kejriwal.

Sources in the AAP’s highest decision making body, the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), said Sidhu met Kejriwal in Delhi on August 13 but a final decision on his date of joining is yet to be taken. While a section of leaders said only the date has to be decided between the two sides, others said there is no agreement on the roles Sidhu and his BJP legislator wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu will be given in the party. The two did not answer phones or messages.

A source said the party is not willing to make an announcement regarding Sidhu’s role at the time of his joining nor commit anything to Sidhu and his wife. The Sidhus are camping in Delhi till August 18 and expected to meet AAP leaders for another round of talks, sources close to them confirmed.

“Sidhu was never a chief ministerial candidate for us. That was propaganda spread by our rivals in Punjab to derail the process. He has been in talks with the party for a long time now,” a senior leader said.

He said Sidhu would only campaign for the party and not contest. Another AAP leader said the party is unrelenting on bending its rule of ‘only one ticket per family’ for the Sidhus.

AAP’s Punjab in-charge Sanjay Singh refused to divulge what is going on. “You will be informed at the right time. It is meaningless to talk about what was discussed between them (Kejriwal and Sidhu) till a date (for joining) has been finalised.”

Sources said the party wants him to join later this week but the Sidhu couple has been asking for a later date. Navjot Kaur Sidhu is a chief parliamentary secretary in Punjab’s Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP government but has been severely critical of the SAD in her recent interviews and social media posts.

In a statement last week, the Amritsar MLA said her husband would not join the Congress because they see no difference between the Badal family or Capt Amarinder Singh, who is leading the Congress charge.

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