Sidhu to contest Punjab Assembly polls: Bains

Chandigarh, Oct 14: With Awaaz-e-Punjab keeping its cards close to its chest regarding the front's future course of action, one of its members, Simarjit Singh Bains, today said Navjot Singh Sidhu will contest the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls.

The Independent MLA from Ludhiana said the front, which had earlier announced that it would not to form a political outfit, was "in talks" with the high-command of "both the Congress and the AAP" for an alliance.

Navjot Singh Sidhu

"(Navjot Singh) Sidhu will surely fight the (2017 Assembly) election," Bains said even as the cricketer-turned-politician could not be contacted.

Asked if Sidhu's wife and Amritsar East MLA Navjot Kaur would also contest the polls, he said, "Yes," adding that the other members of Awaaz-e-Punjab -- former hockey captain Pargat Singh, he and his brother Balwinder Bains -- would also contest the polls.

Sidhu, the founder of Awaaz-e-Punjab, had earlier said he would not float a political party, though he was "ready for an alliance for the betterment of Punjab".

The front had ruled out the possibility of forming or joining hands with a "fourth front" so as not to play a "spoilsport by dividing the anti-incumbency votes". Despite Punjab Congress leaders claiming that nobody from the party was in touch with Sidhu for an alliance, Bains claimed Awaaz-e-Punjab was "in contact" with the party's high-command.

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"Sidhu is in touch with the Congress high-command," he said while refusing to name the person in the Congress party with whom the former BJP MP was in touch. "We are not in talks with the state Congress leadership, including Amarinder Singh," added Bains.

However, he said, "Amarinder very well knows with whom the talks are on in Delhi." Bains said, "Sidhu does not go to anyone's house for a meeting. The leaders of the high-command come to meet him at his Delhi residence."

A few days back, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh, while replying to a query on the Sidhu couple's claim that they were in "direct contact" with the Congress' "central leadership", had said they should also name those with whom they were in touch. Bains also claimed that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) top brass was also "in touch" with Awaaz-e-Punjab.

He though insisted that the front "would not merge" with any political party. "There will be no merger with any party," he said, adding that they were "in favour of an alliance".


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