Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Awaaz-e-Punjab has suffered a setback with two of the five-member outfit, Independent MLA brothers Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjit Singh Bains, likely to announce an alliance with the AAP on Monday. Bains brothers’ Lok Insaf Party (LIP) will form an alliance with AAP and are likely to get five to six seats. The pact was sealed on Sunday after their meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at Bathinda in the evening.
The LIP, registered with the Election Commission recently, has applied for its symbol. Sources said the party would contest Assembly elections on its own symbol. The alliance will be formally announced in Chandigarh on Monday in the presence of state AAP convener Gurpreet Singh Waraich “Ghuggi” and state affairs incharge Sanjay Singh. Bains brothers, it is learnt will make a last ditch effort to still impress upon Sidhu and another Aawaz-e-Punjab member former Akali MLA Pargat Singh to join AAP.
Sources close to Bains brothers said Sidhu and Pargat were more inclined towards Congress. In the lack of this consensus, Bains brothers decided to part ways with Awaaz-e-Punjab. The move is said to have been engineered by AAP leader Gurpreet Singh Bhatti, who was once a close aide of Manpreet Singh Badal and was instrumental in Manpreet Badal’s Peoples Party of Punjab’s pact with Congress in Lok Sabha elections.
The discussions were on till Saturday night when Bhatti had met leaders of Awaaz-e-Punjab at Sidhu’s residence in Delhi. As Sidhu did not agree with the offer made to him, Bains brothers decided to slice away and accept AAP’s offer. Bhatti had arranged meeting of Bains brothers with AAP’s national organisation building head Durgesh Pathak Saturday night. It was then decided the duo would meet Kejriwal in Bathinda. Both Pathak and Bhatti had been working on Sidhu’s outfit for quite some time now.