KEEPING THEIR cards close to their chest, the founding members of Awaz-e-Punjab claim that a number of people from across political spectrum are in touch with them and that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has not shaped up the way it was hoped to.
“This is a political platform which has been set up to save Punjab from mafia raj. We expect people in large numbers from all walks of life to join us. Earlier, people used to say the Bains brothers do not reveal their hand. Now we have revealed four aces in one go. And I can assure you that unlike a deck of cards, our deck will have 52 aces. Dedicated people will join us, we can assure you,” the independent MLA from Ludhiana, Balwinder Singh Bains, told The Indian Express.
Their much-publicised press conference is scheduled for September 8. “On September 8, we will give a call to like-minded people to come and join us,” said the suspended SAD MLA from Jalandhar, Pargat Singh.
Without referring to reports that estranged AAP leader Sucha Singh Chhotepur is reportedly in touch with them, Bains said, “All I can say at this point is that many people are in touch with us from across political spectrum.”
Asked if the Awaz-e-Punjab was an attempt to present yet another option to the voters of the state, Bains said, “The politics of today has gotten sullied. People abuse politicians as we approach them from a distance but when we come closer, they touch our feet. People treat politicians as thugs. We mean to change this perception that politics is not a business but sewa. We will bring passion into politics,” he said.
When pointed out that AAP had also also made similar claims as it entered Punjab politics, Bains said, “Yes, AAP says this. But you have seen in recent days what all has been happening. They have revealed everything themselves. We have not called them names, it is their own infighting which has revealed the truth. They have sullied their image and thrown so much muck over each other that it is difficult to recognise the person with a true face among them.”
Having a dig at the AAP leaders wearing yellow turbans, Bains said, “You cannot become Bhagat Singh by just wearing a turban like him. You need to emulate the deeds of Bhagat Singh too.”
“It has been a case of ‘Chat mangni patt shaadi’. We came together within a week. This happened virtually overnight because we did not have any greed in our mind and all of us have a clean image,” Bains said.
On the leadership of the new front, there is unanimity to nominate Navjot Singh Sidhu. “We ourselves said that Navjot Singh Sidhu should lead us. Normally, leadership is a matter of major contention but we brothers and Pargat Singh unanimously decided that Sidhu should lead us. There is no tussle for leadership and neither there will be in future,” Bains said.