BJP leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who quit his Rajya Sabha seat recently , has announced a new political outfit, Awaaz-e-Punjab, along with suspended Shiromani Akali Dal functionary Pargat Singh. The announcement has ended speculation of Sidhu joining the Aam Aadmi Party .
“We have decided to form a new front to fight all forces which have ruined Punjab. A formal announcement of the new front would be made in the next three-four days at a place to be decided soon,“ Pargat Singh, a former captain of the Indian hockey team, said in Chandigarh. Sidhu who joined politics after a career in cricket is yet to quit the BJP .
Sidhu decided to float the outfit along with like-minded people after his talks with the AAP failed. He held a meeting with Singh and Bains brothers of Ludhiana -Simarjeet Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains -both of who are independent MLAs.
AAP was taken aback by the development. Sidhu had in mid-August met AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal at his residence and discussed plans of joining the party . Kejriwal's remarks on August 19 had indicated that things were not going according to plan when he said Sidhu needs “time to think.“
The news of Sidhu forming a political front comes at a time when AAP faces a vertical split in Punjab after state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur was sacked over allegations of bribery. “We have learnt that Sidhu has formed a political front. It is up to him to comment whether they will launch a party or not,“ AAP's Punjab state in-charge Sanjay Singh said.
Posters showing a photograph of Sidhu, Pargat and Bains brothers together were posted by Awaaz-e-Punjab leaders that said the four have joined hands for the politics of hope and faith. “Our battle is against such forces that ruined Punjab,“ they said in the poster, claiming they have been tried and tested and have lived up to the aspirations of people.The poster also mentions a couplet of famous Punjabi writer Surjeet Patar, saying, “So what if it is autumn now, you believe in the next season. I will bring saplings after finding them, and you save the land for flowers.“