The suspense related to Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu’s political career is perhaps over, in atleast the short term future. The former BJP MP, Navjot Singh Sidhu is not joining the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or the Congress. He will lead a new political party in Punjab, where assembly elections will be held early in 2017.
The Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and Akali Dal MLA Pargat Singh, along with some other leaders announced the launch of a political front, Awaaz-e-Punjab. Sidhu, who recently quit the BJP post difference with top leadership over alliance with the Akali Dal, said in Punjab and India good people are made decoration pieces that are used and thrown. “Good people have been removed from system and they watched from sidelines silently. This is also a crime to remain silent,” said Sidhu. He also said that political leader needed to set an example. “Men of genius are admired, men of power are feared, men of character are trusted. We fall in 3rd category”, said the former Rajya Sabha MP.
The formal announcement of the modalities of the new party would be made in the next few days, However, the leaders announced the birth of the political front — online through a poster that pictured Mr. Sidhu, Mr. Pargat Singh and the Bains brothers — Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjit Singh Bains, who are Ludhiana-based Independent MLAs. Pargat Singh was recently suspended from the Akali Dal for “anti-party” activities. The Bains brothers, who had fallen out with the Akali Dal top leadership three years ago, have significant influence in Ludhiana district.
Reacting on the possibility the joining of Aam Aadmi Party’s former State convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur, Mr. Bains said, “Anyone who wants to honestly work for Punjab is welcome”.
Meanwhile, terming the Awaaz -e-Punjab front as a pack of “disgruntled and opportunist political leaders” without any ideological commitment, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said this front would hardly have any impact on State polity.
The Senior Punjab Congress leader Sunil Jakhar said the new Sidhu party would hit the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hardest. "This is the political space Kejriwal's party was hoping to occupy, but the new front will take over the niche space AAP was vying for," he said, adding that the Congress "will lose nothing".
Elections to 117 Punjab assembly seats are likely to be held in January or early February, 2017.