After playing hardball with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress, cricketer-turned-politician and Awaaz-e-Punjab leader Navjot Singh Sidhu is now waiting for an invite from both.
Sidhu held yet another meeting with his teammates — independent MLAs Simarjeet and Balwinder Bains and Pargat Singh — in Delhi on Thursday.
Simarjeet told HT after the meeting that they are waiting for an alliance with the AAP or the Congress. “Our front has made it clear that we will not divide the anti-incumbency vote against the ruling SAD-BJP government. We are waiting for reaching an understanding with either the AAP or Congress,” he said.
The Congress leaders said no meeting was held on Sidhu between party vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh.
“We are not in talks with Sidhu so there was no question of holding a meeting on the issue,” Congress Punjab affairs in-charge Asha Kumari said. Party’s Punjab leaders were in Delhi on Thursday to welcome Rahul who returned from his month-long “kisan yatra” in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.
Sidhu’s forum is finding itself in a piquant situation vis-à-vis both the AAP and Congress. The AAP is not willing to buy Sidhu’s bait after burning its fingers last time when he held meetings with party leaders, but was not happy with the deal.
As for the Congress, Sidhu’s rider that an alliance is only possible minus Amarinder is being dubbed by party leaders as unpalatable. Amarinder said on Wednesday that Sidhu is welcome without riders.
MAKE ALL FOUR JOIN CONGRESS: BAJWA
Leaving the final decision to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa on Thursday advocated taking Navjot Sidhu, Pargat Singh and Bains brothers into the party fold. Contrary to this, state Congress chief captain Amarinder Singh was wary and had shown reluctance to make the four join the party.
“In the forthcoming polls, every single vote and every candidate in poll fray will matter, so my advice is to take decision wisely,” suggested Bajwa, saying he will also take it up with the party high command. He said Awaaz-e-Punjab leaders joining the Congress would help the party as all four are winning candidates who carry no baggage.