Many call him a maverick politician. Expelled senior Congress leader Jagmeet Brar has made more headlines for his statements against his own party leaders, including advising Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi to go on a sabbatical after the party’s worst show in Lok Sabha polls in 2014. Suspended for a while for making that statement, Brar came back into the fold only to be finally expelled last month, this time for hitting out against Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh’s coterie and tweeting praises for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
But why does party’s poll strategist Prashant Kishor want him back? Brar had meetings with Kishor at Delhi before his expulsion and more recently on May 5. The last has triggered a controversy with Amarinder seeing it as Kishor exceeding his mandate.
In an interview to HT on Tuesday, Brar claimed Kishor had told him during their meetings in Delhi before his expulsion that even he (Brar) could become Punjab CM. “Kishor had several meetings with me at the office of Rahul Gandhi on Rakabganj Road. In one of the meetings, he told me even you can become Punjab CM if the Congress wins the elections and that option is still open” Brar said.
Further, he acknowledged the meeting where Kishor was present too earlier this month: “I had invited Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Charanjit Singh Channi to Abohar for protest against killers of Dalit youth Bheem Tank. So when Channi invited me to his official residence in May first week, I obliged. But Kishor walked in after 20 minutes. I was not told that he too would be joining us. I also had no idea that they had met Bir Devinder Singh earlier in the day.”
“Kishor told me it was worth joining AAP if they announced me as the CM face as the party is likely to sweep Punjab polls,” he added, “I told him I had no such aspirations. But Channi kept pestering me to reconsider my decision saying he too will resign as the CLP leader. The meeting was just a ploy to dent my image by confusing people of Punjab that I am still trying to reach an understanding with the Congress.”
When contacted, Kishor refused to comment on the issue.
Having toured 60 assembly constituencies to mobilise crowds for his rally at Chappar Chiri in Mohali on May 21, the former MP is now propounding a new theory --- a grand alliance in Punjab between forces wanting to keep the SAD-BJP and Congress out.
Eyeing to gain entry into AAP or the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Brar said, “There is no returning to the Congress. Both Left and the BSP have no to alliance with the Congress. The possibility of the AAP, BSP and Left coming together cannot be ruled out in Punjab.”