Congress wants Sidhu to make first move

Congress wants Sidhu to make first move

Congress wants Sidhu to make first move

The Congress may carve out a role for former BJP MP Navjyot Singh Sidhu, who has maintained the suspense over joining the Aam Aadmi Party as a star campaigner for Punjab elections.

As Sidhu’s negotiations with the AAP appeared to have hit a road block, the Congress appeared eager to accommodate the cricketer-turned-politician in its Punjab unit. However, there is a hitch – Sidhu has to approach the Congress.

Congress leaders believe having Sidhu by their side would be an addition to its armoury against the BJP and the Akali Dal, who have been ruling Punjab for the past decade.

A senior Congress leader admitted Sidhu joining AAP would have given the fledgling party, the much-needed face in Punjab, and thus an upper hand in the state elections early next year.

Sidhu, who gave up his membership of the Rajya Sabha last month, had criticised the BJP for asking him to stay away from Punjab. He had made way for Arun Jaitley to contest from Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency, a seat he lost to Congress’s Amarinder Singh.

Sidhu’s relations with the Akali Dal leaders have been acrimonious and always proved to be the Achilles heel for the BJP. “His exit from the BJP is already an embarrassment for the ruling party. He would help whichever party he joins,” a senior Congress leader said.

Reports had it that Sidhu wanted to be projected as the chief ministerial candidate for Punjab, a demand the AAP was unwilling to concede. Besides, he also wanted the AAP to field his wife Navjyot Kaur Sidhu in the Assembly elections due next year. The AAP leaders told him that the party does not allow family members to contest in the same elections.

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