Navjot Singh Sidhu-led Awaaz-e-Punjab’s stance that it would only agree to an alliance and not merger with the Congress has raised the hackles of Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh.
Dismissing the front as a three-month-old setup that could neither bargain for an alliance nor merger with the 130-year-old party, Amarinder said anyone wanting to join the Congress has to come without a pre-condition and should be ready to accept the party’s ideology.
“How can one think of a merger or an alliance of a three-month-old forum that is still not a proper political party with a party like the Congress that has a history, traditions and ideology,” said Amarinder, while talking to mediapersons during the party’s protest outside Punjab chief minister (CM) Parkash Singh Badal’s residence on Friday.
Claiming a party like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), of which Sidhu was a part, could tolerate indiscipline but not the Congress, the former CM said: “If anyone creates indiscipline after joining the Congress, he would meet the same fate as Jagmeet Brar.”
Punjab Congress in-charge Asha Kumari, meanwhile, slammed not only Sidhu, but also her party strategist Prashant Kishor, through whom the cricketer-turned-politician is reportedly trying to get in touch with the Congress high command.
“Who is he (Navjot Sidhu) talking to? At least not with All India Congress Committee president (Sonia Gandhi), vice-president (Rahul Gandhi), PPCC president or me,” said Asha Kumari, talking to mediapersons.
Asha Kumari said if Sidhu is trying to approach the Congress high command through Kishor, he is “mistaken”, as Prashant “is not a part of the Congress and has been hired” by the party for the polls.
On Sidhu’s appeal as a star campaigner, she said: “Everyone has a star appeal, and quantifying how one could benefit a party during polls is a hypothesis.”
On Thursday, Awaaz-e-Punjab leader Simarjit Singh Bains had questioned Amarinder’s “locus standi” to set conditions for an alliance between the Congress and their front. Even former Indian hockey captain, Pargat Singh, had ruled out possibility of merging the front with the Congress, saying they would only agree to an alliance.