Sidhu Status Update: ‘Bargaining,’ Says AAP, Congress Says He’s Welcome

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A day after Awaaz-e-Punjab said it would look at a political tie-up to contest elections in Punjab, AAP said the Navjot Singh Sidhu-led front seemed to be “bargaining for the best deal”, while Congress said it would welcome them if their agendas match.

Awaaz-e-Punjab, which had initially been formed as a “non-political” front, had yesterday said it will look at the prospects of forging an alliance with the Congress or the AAP, while ruling out the possibility of joining a fourth front.

“I consider it a political statement. I am smelling that it (Awaaz-e-Punjab) is bargaining with two political parties for getting best deal to work with,” AAP’s Punjab Convenor Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi said on Tuesday.

“They want to see which party is giving it more weight. People are looking at them to see what this front wants and their action will throw light on their real motive,” he said.

Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh said the party was not in contact with representatives of Awaaz-e-Punjab.
“They have not contacted us either. If they send us their common minimum programme then we will look at it and then decide,” the former Punjab Chief Minister and Lok Sabha MP from Amritsar said in Chandigarh.

However, he added, “If their common minimum programme fits into our programme then yes we will welcome them. Whether we have an understanding or not will not not depend only on that as understandings do not take place only on manifestos. There must be other things also. There may be seats whether it suits us or not, we will have to see.”

“If they seek AAP support, then they will have to take a decision on whether they want to support outsiders…they will have to explain to people of Punjab why they want to support people from outside,” Amarinder.

Independent MLA and member of Awaaz-e-Punjab Simarjit Singh Bains yesterday said the front will “look at the possibilities in the Congress and the AAP to see which party has a strong agenda for Punjab and which can look after the state’s interests. After that, we will take a decision on forging an alliance with either of the parties to contest the Assembly polls on a common minimum agenda.”

Cricketer-turned-politician Sidhu had earlier announced that he would not float a party to contest the Punjab polls as he did not wish to play “spoilsport” by dividing the anti-incumbency votes. The former BJP MP had said they had decided against forming a political party as there was not enough time to prepare for the polls, but had added that they were “open to alliance” for the “betterment of Punjab”.

(With PTI inputs)

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