A month after negotiations for an electoral alliance in Punjab between leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party and Awaz-e-Punjab led by former parliamentarian Navjot Singh Sidhu resumed, the two sides were headed for a stalemate yet again with Sidhu’s outfit trying to drive a hard bargain.
“We have not been able to move forward,” a senior AAP leader who is part of the negotiations said on Wednesday evening. He hinted that AAP is irked with Awaz-e-Punjab still keeping its channels with the Congress open at the same time.
“Our constitution does not allow more than one ticket per family, so we agreed to talk of an alliance instead of a merger on their insistence. But, they want too much,” he added. Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur is also a legislator in Punjab and Awaz-e-Punjab had said both would contest the elections.
Sources in AAP said that party leader Durgesh Pathak had met Sidhu and his colleagues in New Delhi last week but they two sides could not finalise a plan for a tie-up. Awaz-e-Punjab has asked AAP for around 30 seats of the 117 in Punjab while the latter said it was open to a tie-up on no more than five seats.
Sidhu was set to join AAP in mid-August but did not after both sides could not agree upon the terms of joining. A month later, he announced in Chandigarh that he had joined hands with three sitting MLAs of Punjab including Pargat Singh and the Bains brothers to float Awaz-e-Punjab. Since then, Awaz-e-Punjab has been in touch with both the Congress and AAP to work out a tie-up for the upcoming Punjab polls.