Talks are going on with Navjot Sidhu: AAP leader Sanjay Singh

Sources said Sidhu held a meeting with AAP's co-in-charge and Delhi Minister Arvind Kejriwal's confidante Durgesh Pathak here late last night.

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Chandigarh, Oct 27: Talks between former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and Aam Aadmi Party are going on, AAP senior leader Sanjay Singh said here today, even as suspense continued over which way the cricketer-turned-politician would finally go after Congress recently maintained that it had no reservation if he joins the outfit "unconditionally".

"Talks are going on with Sidhu. There is no denying this. Talks have been underway for the past 4-5 days," Singh told reporters here.

'Talks are going on with Navjot Sidhu'

Sources said Sidhu held a meeting with AAP's co-in-charge and Delhi Minister Arvind Kejriwal's confidante Durgesh Pathak here late last night.

They said former BJP MP is pushing for the deputy chief minister's post and added that the bone of contention was also some 7-8 seats which Sidhu has demanded, including seats for Hockey Olympian Pargat Singh and two Independent legislators, Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjit Singh Bains.

They also indicated that a section in the party favoured an alliance with Sidhu's outfit Aawaz-e-Punjab rather than the former BJP MP joining AAP. "An alliance with Sidhu's Awaaz-e-Punjab will boost party's prospects but giving him deputy CM's post will not go well with the party cadre," they said, adding, the alliance will help strike balance between the demands of the two sides.

They indicated that the party was not keen on giving him the deputy chief minister's post but it was ready to induct his wife in the Cabinet if the AAP comes to power.

"Our party constitution states that we cannot give seats to two people from one family. Since the Bains brothers are sitting MLAs, they would want tickets, a demand which we would not be able to fulfil," the leader added.

Sidhu had last month floated his 'Awaaz-e-Punjab' forum in what many had then thought was the outcome of Sidhu's talks with AAP having "failed" at that time. After the development, Kejriwal had said his respect for Sidhu will continue irrespective of whether "he joins (AAP) or not", indicating that the party had not shut its doors on him.

However, Sidhu had later attacked Kejriwal and dubbed AAP as "anarchy in the garb of democracy", saying the AAP chief wanted only "yes men". In a clear indication that talks with the former BJP MP leader were progressing, Singh said not too much should be read into Sidhu's utterances, asserting that the two sides were engaged in talks for a bigger cause which was how "save Punjab".

"A long time has passed (since Sidhu made these remarks), if we get involved in small things, then Punjab's interests will take a backseat. What he has said in his speech or in his statement, that is not the issue, that is not important.

"The issue is how to save Punjab, how to save the state from corruption, from drug menace, how we will restore the lost glory of our farmers. We are thinking about this and we have to think about these issues," Singh said.

Asked if AAP has offered Sidhu the post of the Deputy Chief Minister in case the party wins next year's Punjab polls, Singh said, "At this stage, the only thing I can say is that talks are going on." On whether Sidhu and other members of his forum will join AAP or will there be any alliance with his forum, Singh said, "The whole formula will be put before you. What will happen and how it will happen, all this you will come to know but wait for some time."

PTI 

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