Punjab elections: Sidhu continues to keep Congress guessing

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New Delhi, Jan 11: When Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who is back from a vacation, will hold discussions to wrap up the selection of candidates for the Punjab assembly elections, he would also have to decide on a truck with Navjot Singh Sidhu.

[Also Read: Akali-BJP's mismanagement of Punjab unprecedented: Manmohan]

The cricketer-turned-politician, who recently quit the BJP, has a couple of demands which he wants fulfilled before he joins the Congress.

Navjot Singh Sidhu

Sidhu's list of demands include five seats in the first list of 40 candidates to be finalised on Wednesday. He also wants the Amritsar parliament seat for himself which has fallen vacant after he quit the BJP.

Sidhu also wants a seat for himself and his wife, who has already joined the Congress. The former BJP MP has also said that he would want 18 out of the 117 seats in Punjab.

What the Congress will offer:
The Congress is not ready to give away five seats to Sidhu in the first list. The Congress at the moment is ready to give him the Amritsar East assembly seat and also the post of Deputy chief minister if the party comes to power.

Sidhu has agreed to this offer, but has refused to come down on the number of seats he has sought. In fact, he feels that the offer given to him by the Aam Admi Party leaders with whom he was in talks was a better one.

The talks with the AAP, however, broke down after the party refused to grant both Sidhu and his wife a ticket citing party norms.

The Congress is, however, citing difficulties in giving into all of Sidhu's demands. Congress insiders say that giving away five seats is a stretch. "We have our own leaders who are eyeing these seats and to give into this demand would mean inviting a rebellion just before the elections, which we cannot afford," a Congress leader said.

OneIndia News

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