Sidhu will not be CM candidate, declare Punjab AAP leaders | punjab$most-popular | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Sep 26, 2017-Tuesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Sidhu will not be CM candidate, declare Punjab AAP leaders

“Our high command has made it amply clear that Sidhu will join the party and campaign. The question of how he will fare as the CM face does not arise,” AAP’s state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur told HT. Chhotepur told reporters in Bathinda too that Sidhu will not contest the elections, and indicated that the Sidhu couple was in touch with the AAP for long, saying that Sidhu’s wife, BJP MLA Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, had met AAP national convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi four months ago.

punjab Updated: Jul 22, 2016 11:25 IST
HT Correspondent
From left: AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, former MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, and Punjab AAP convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur.
From left: AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, former MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, and Punjab AAP convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur.(HT Photos/File)

Three days after cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned from the Rajya Sabha and has all but formally quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), two frontline Punjab leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said Sidhu will join the AAP but he will neither contest the assembly polls due early next year nor be projected as the chief ministerial face.

Sidhu resigned as Rajya Sabha MP on Monday. (HT File Photo)

“Our high command has made it amply clear that Sidhu will join the party and campaign. The question of how he will fare as the CM face does not arise,” AAP’s state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur told HT. Chhotepur told reporters in Bathinda too that Sidhu will not contest the elections, and indicated that the Sidhu couple was in touch with the AAP for long, saying that Sidhu’s wife, BJP MLA Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, had met AAP national convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi four months ago.

Also read | Sidhu has crossed point of no return, AAP best option: Wife

Bhagwant Mann is considered among the contenders for the CM-ship if AAP wins. (HT File Photo)

Echoing Chhotepur’s view, Sangrur MP and AAP campaign committee in-charge Bhagwant Mann said Sidhu will join and campaign, but “he is not going to contest, hence cannot be the CM candidate of the party in the run-up to the elections”.

The two leaders’ take on Sidhu underscored the potential sticking points in Sidhu’s formal entry to AAP, which had promptly made a flurry of welcoming overtures to the three-time Lok Sabha MP from Amritsar after his resignation bombshell.

Both, however, reiterated their divergent views on whether AAP should project a CM face at all.

Sucha Singh Chhotepur and other AAP leaders in Bathinda on Thursday. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT Photo)

Chhotepur, a former Akali veteran, said, “Personally, I believe a CM face should not be projected in Punjab. The CM should be chosen by the winning MLAs after the elections, in line with the highest principles of democracy.”

Mann, on the other hand, said it was imperative that a CM candidate be announced during the campaign. “People who have to make a choice and vote for you have the right to know who they are associating themselves with. The CM candidate is the most important leader of the party, and he is also a source of inspiration for party workers.” He went on to say that the AAP should have been the first to declare their CM face “for an edge over others”.

To buttress his point, he said, “In Delhi, for instance, we had posters of on auto-rickshaws saying ‘Arvind Kejriwal versus who?’ That showed the voters that we were confident of a win and had the courage to stick our neck out. I personally feel something similar should be done here.” Asked who it should be, Mann said, “That’s for the party high command to decide.” (With inputs from Bathinda)

Also read | HT Analysis: The importance of being Navjot Singh Sidhu