Chandigarh [India], Sept. 8: Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha MP Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday formally launched a new political front 'Awaaz-e-Punjab', which will contest the Punjab assembly elections next year.
Former captain of the Indian hockey team and legislator from the Jalandhar (East) constituency Pargat Singh, who was suspended by the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), and two Independent legislators Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjeet Singh Bains, popularly known as Bains brothers, are other prominent leaders of the newly-launched front in Punjab.
The launch of the new front came after a flip-flop, with Sidhu, who was earlier was tipped to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), but his bargain for the party's chief ministerial candidate in the upcoming Punjab assembly polls fell apart, after AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal purportedly refused to accept his demand, and reportedly also denied a party ticket to the former cricketer's wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, citing the norms established by the party's constitution that prohibits tickets to two persons of a family.
Addressing a press conference on the occasion, Sidhu said, "Awaaz e Punjab is a revolutionary voice in the state. It is the resurrection and redemption of Punjab, which is in a dire strait."
Stating that at this stage Awaaz-e-Punjab is not a party, it's a forum, Sidhu added, "We will take 15 days, and then get back to you with our decision and more details."
Taking a dig at the BJP-SAD government in Punjab, he said, "A government should be for the people, but in Punjab it is all about one family (the Badals). The people of the state say the 'black clouds' (Badals) should pave way to the bright sun."
Explaining the reason behind his resignation to the Rajya Sabha, Sidhu said it had nothing to do with Kejriwal. "When I went to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari sahib, he was shocked by my decision to resign, and told me that he never saw anyone doing this," he added.
He further said, "Kejriwalji tweeted about the meeting with me, but he said half truth. Let me complete it: Kejriwalji told me 'don't fight elections and ask your wife to contest, we will make her a minister'. I said 'Sat Shri Akal'; you (Kejriwal) only want 'Yes Men'." (ANI)