Chandigarh: Former BJP MP and founder of Awaaz-e-Punjab Navjot Singh Sandhu is inching closer to joining the Congress party, which has emerged as his first preference to relaunch himself in Punjab politics. After weighing all options available to him, Sidhu is believed to have zeroed in on the idea of joining Congress and campaigning for the party which is going to fight the upcoming Assembly poll under the leadership of former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is all set to make the electoral battle triangular in the state, is said to be his second choice.
According to sources close to Sidhu and his wife Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, a sitting BJP MLA, the cricketer-turned-politician Sidhu has shared his roadmap to join Congress with top party leaders and they are currently seized of the matter. “Sidhu wishes to contest the Lok Sabha poll from Amritsar which he wants Captain Amarinder Singh to vacate so that the by-poll is held along with the Assembly poll,” sources said.
The formula scripted by Sidhu, as sources claim, has also gone down well with the Congress leaders including Captain Amarinder, who has asked for some time to take a final call in this regard. “Sidhu enjoys significant appeal among the state’s youth and he is ready to seek votes to make Captain the state’s next chief minister. However, there is a contrary view within the Congress leaders, which is against Captain resigning from the Lok Sabha immediately, but only after the Assembly polls,” the sources added.
If Sidhu goes with the Congress, electoral prospects will certainly brighten up for the country’s oldest national party for which Punjab has turned out to be a barren political land since the SAD-BJP alliance trounced the Congress in 2007 Assembly polls. Political experts feel that a swing of two or three per cent votes in favour of Congress will be a game changer, which Sidhu can certainly script in the changed scenario.
AAP is also offering Sidhu a ‘respectable position within the organisation’ but the party strategists have some reservations about his other friends associated with Awaaz-e-Punjab.’ “AAP is keen to accommodate Sidhu first, but his wife will have to wait for some time. Similarly, AAP leaders are in favour of merging Awaaz-e-Punjab with their outfit,” said sources.
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