Sidhu to meet Rahul Gandhi, set to merge Awaaz front into Congress
The four-month-long intense suspense and speculation over cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu’s move in poll-bound Punjab is set to be over, at last.punjab Updated: Nov 22, 2016 23:13 IST
The four-month-long intense suspense and speculation over cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu’s move in poll-bound Punjab is set to be over, at last.
A meeting between Sidhu and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is slated in New Delhi on Wednesday. Congress sources say terms of the agreement on the merger of the former Amritsar MP’s fledgling Awaaz-e-Punjab (AeP) into the Congress are expected to be finalised.
“The meeting is just between Sidhu and Rahul. No joining is likely tomorrow (Wednesday). A formal announcement is expected later this week,” sources said.
After his resignation from the Rajya Sabha in July, Sidhu quit the BJP on September 15 and floated the AeP with an eye on the Punjab assembly elections early next year.
Though his nascent outfit didn’t gather any support beyond his wife and MLA Navjot Kaur, Independent Ludhiana MLAs, the Bains brothers, renegade Akali MLA and former hockey Olympian Pargat Singh, Sidhu has since been bargaining hard with the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress.
Both parties have been courting him, hoping to capitalise on his star appeal and tough stand against the ruling Parkash Singh Badal family.
Sidhu’s political options shrunk on Monday as the Bains brothers broke ranks with the AeP and forged an alliance with the AAP.
Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh, who too is in Delhi on Wednesday for the meeting of the party’s screening committee on Punjab candidates, said he was not aware about any talks with Sidhu.
AICC general secretary and Punjab Congress in-charge Asha Kumari said: “I have no knowledge about any meeting between Rahul and Sidhu.”