Without announcing his resignation from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), former MP Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday launched his new political group Awaz-e-Punjab, which he created in association with three sitting MLAs-Pargat Singh, Simranjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains. Dashing the hopes of masses that were eager to hear some concrete points related to the policy and planning of the Awaz-e-Punjab, he went on terming it a forum of right and like-minded people. “At this stage, Awaz-e-Punjab is not a party. It is a forum for good governance,” adding that forum should be given 15-20 days to work out its future course.
Speaking about his resignation from the Rajya Sabha, the former cricketer-turned politician Sidhu said: “I had resigned from the Rajya Sabha as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had given me two options, either to support and campaign for Badals or not to look towards Punjab.”He, however, avoided announcing his resignation from the BJP. Playing smartly, he answered the media query about his plan to quit the BJP. He said: “My stand is clear that I can’t stand with the adharmis (Akalis) but the BJP is with them. It is up to the BJP leadership to decide, I am open to hear words from any side as we are not unfolding the policy, planning and structure of Awaz-e-Punjab’s from this stage.” Spilling the beans on why his much speculated association with the AAP never happened, Sidhu said that its chief Arvind Kejriwal had asked him not to contest Punjab Assembly elections but only focus on campaigning for the AAP.
While divulging details of his meetings with Kejriwal after he resigned from the Rajya Sabha this July, Sidhu said that he was non-committal on his role if he joined ranks with them. “Like my own party BJP, the AAP too wanted to make me another decoration piece. I was told that my wife will be made a minister but my wife and our well-wishers were not at all convinced with this proposal,” said Sidhu.Asked what he wanted from the AAP, he said: “They had nothing to offer me and that reflects from Kejriwal’s tweet in which he claimed that Sidhu joins AAP without pre-condition. They were in fact afraid of my persona.”
Sidhu’s revelations on the AAP episode, which he described as the ‘other half truth’ that had not been revealed by Kejriwal in his tweets, came on a day when Kejriwal started his four-day Punjab trip to rejuvenate the party’s crisis-ridden unit. In his spree of claims, Sidhu also mentioned that the top leadership of the AAP including Durgesh Pathak were hectically putting efforts to make him convinced to join the AAP ‘but finding their intentions malafide, I gave up.’
“While opining about the AAP I will say that it is no less than the East India Co and if I have to name, it will be Central India Co, where three leaders of Delhi wants to rule three crore Punjabis. The partymen in Punjab, including the senior leaders are not even allowed to question Kejri team,” he said.“I hereby clear that the parties are never good and bad. It is the leadership that makes the parties good or bad. I am a big fan of Partap Singh Kairon. And see, Amarinder represents the same party but I have seen his ‘misrule’ and after finding that he is no different from Badals, I can’t think of joining him,” said Sidhu.
He also announced that the move to launch the new political front was to ensure that the people of Punjab and Punjabiyat win. He also shared the slogan of his forum: “Jittuga Punjab, Jittugi Punjabiyat, Jittuga har Punjabi.”On the occasion, Pargat Singh and Bains brothers also shared their experiences in the state politics and claimed that they were all worried about the future of the state and joined hands and created the forum, with the hope to get right people along and take the initiative ahead. Pargat Singh said that the Badals and the party had become synonymous with muscle and money power to rule over Punjab.
Key statements of Navjot
AAP is no less than East India Company
Three men of AAP want to rule three crore Punjabis in the state
Kejriwal offered ministry to my wife, but wanted me not to contest
I sent Ghuggi, Bhagwant in AAP but Kejriwal
created a rift among us
Awaaz-E-Punjab slogan: Jittuga Punjab, Jittugi Punjabiyat, Jittuga har Punjabi
Badals with the help of BJP tried to scuttle me politically
BJP wanted me to campaign for Badal that I can never do
My resignation from Rajya Sabha had nothing to do with Kejriwal meetings
As I can’t go with SAD-BJP alliance, so choice is with the party if it wants to retain me or not
Badals and Amarinder Singh are two sides of the same coin
Partap Singh Kairon is my hero
Captain Amarinder sent 35-40 men to convince me, but all were returned dejected
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