Thanks to the swift developments taking place in the state politics, the show has reached at such a dynamic level that one is bound to keep the knowledge brushed up every alternate day.In the leadership of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, the former Indian Hockey team captain and two Independent MLAs from Ludhiana-Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjit Singh Bains, known as Bains brothers, recently announced the formation of Awaz-e-Punjab, a forum, which is set to take the shape of a political party in the days ahead.
The three-time Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Amritsar Navjot Singh Sidhu had developed strong rivalry with the major partner in the ruling alliance-Shiromani Akali Dal-during past few years. And once he observed that his party was not going to honour his strong demand of breaking the alliance, he did quit his Rajya Sabha seat two months back, which he had got just few weeks ago. Sidhu’s nomination to Rajya Sabha was a gesture of Modi and his close team to pacify him after rejecting his claim of Amritsar Lok Sabha seat in 2014.
While vacating the Rajya Sabha seat, Sidhu had dropped strong hints of him joining the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and later the AAP leadership, including Arvind Kejriwal, too had declared about Sidhu’s likely move of joining the AAP. However, Sidhu couldn’t join the AAP as he himself states that the position he was being offered in the AAP was not of his stature. While announcing the Awaz-e-Punjab in Chandigarh this week, Sidhu claimed that the AAP wanted him to join the party but the party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal didn’t want him to contest the elections in Punjab with an offer to make his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu a minister, in case the AAP forms the government in Punjab.
Though Sidhu didn’t speak openly, his gestures and the statements were sufficient enough to indicate that he wanted to be projected as the CM candidate from AAP and once it was dishonoured, he lost infatuation for the AAP. Meanwhile, Pargat Singh and Bains brothers, who were already annoyed with the Shiromani Akali Dal, found Sidhu as a leader to form a front, parallel to all.
Though the front is constituted with these four leaders, it is interesting to learn that neither Navjot Singh Sidhu quit his membership of the BJP nor did Pargat Singh, who had become MLA from Jalandhar on SAD ticket. Further, Navjot Singh Sidhu’s BJP MLA wife from Amritsar Navjot Kaur Sidhu is also quite vocal against her government but she too has neither quit the saffron party nor is she willing to vacate her seat in Assembly yet, but her photographs have started appearing on the hoardings of Awaz-e-Punjab.
The position of Sidhu and Pargat is not very different from the AAP’s suspended MPs Dharmveer Gandhi and Harinder Singh Khalsa. They are quite vocal in slamming the Aam Aadmi Party and its leadership but none of the two has even expressed the desire to shun the membership of the party. It is learnt that party too is not very keen in expelling them as it would hardly make any difference to the MPs or the party’s position in the Lok Sabha.
At this stage, one would have hardly any doubt about the intention of politicians. They just want the power and for that they are ready to sacrifice anything. Morality is the first thing which they part with for vested interests.Going into analysing the current scenario of the state politics, one carries no doubt in admitting that the Shiromani Akali Dal is in the complete command of Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal. Despite understanding it well that there is severe annoyance among the masses towards the state government, apparently for seeing the SAD-BJP alliance in power for past nine-and-a-half-years, they are quite hopeful of the things turning in their favour. The frequent emergence of rebels in the AAP is the key thing that is infusing energy among the Badals at least at this stage, as learnt.
On the parallel, Captain Amarinder Singh is an altogether different man this time. Heading the Punjab unit of Congress, this Patiala Royal is putting his best to make the party revive in the state and the way he is sweating out it signifies that 2017 is his last political battle, after losing two in-a-row. An ex-serviceman with also having the legacy of Royal family, Amarinder is these days following the advices being given by Rahul Gandhi’s poll strategist Parshant Kishor. Known for his aristocracy in the past, Amarinder is this time following the programmes conceived by Kishor’s team. And once fearful of the AAP’s escalating graph, the Congress leader is also a bit relieved with the split in the rival’s home.
The AAP, which had emerged as the hope of change in Punjab politics is in the crisis and the party’s manifesto committee convener Kanwar Sandhu also admits in openly. If at one hand the AAP is facing severe image crisis due to the bad deeds of its MLAs in Delhi and the foul mouth of some of the local leaders, there is another serious issues in Punjab-dominance of outsiders-that is making the state leadership to raise the banner of revolt.
The unceremonious removal of Sucha Singh Chhotepur from the post of state convener has heavily dented the AAP. Ironically, the damage was unexpected to any of its leaders, operating the party here. The sacked AAP leader Chhotepur is riding high on the anti-Delhi leadership campaign within the AAP. He is holding his ‘Parivartan Yatra’ to garner support for him, before taking the next step.In the meanwhile, his meeting with Pargat Singh and Dr Dharmavir Gandhi has given birth to a fresh speculation of all joining the Awaz-e-Punjab front. If one goes by this latest development, it hints that all parting ways from the AAP will now have a forum to get united and mark their presence in the Vidhan Sabha polls 2017.
The new forum, which is being seen as the likely emergence of fourth front in the state politics, will affect which party and how much would be the dent are the questions which can’t be answered at this juncture but there is no doubt that it has come as a major trouble for the AAP. There are also reports that it is supported by one of two major parties (archrivals) in the state but having no authenticity of the talks, it is better to wait and watch the things taking shape in the days ahead.Irrespective of all biases and prejudices, one must enjoy the dance of democracy in the state as every politician here is putting his/her best to make the show interesting for all of us.