The recently floated ‘Awaaz-e-Punjab’ front by cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday fell apart with two of its members, Simarjeet Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains, joining hands with AAP for the upcoming Punjab Assembly polls. Making the announcement at a press conference, AAP state incharge Sanjay Singh said Aam Aadmi Party and Lok Insaaf party, floated by the Bains brothers, will contest the 2017 state polls together.
He said the decision, which was taken in presence of AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal, was the result of several rounds of talks with the Bains brothers, and expressed confidence that his party will win more than 100 seats in the coming elections.
Under this pact, Lok Insaaf Party will be given five seats from where they could nominate their candidates. However, the decision with regard to the announcement of the seats will be made public in next few days, he said.
Singh said Simarjeet Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains, MLAs from Ludhiana, had raised voice against drug mafia, sand mafia and river water issue through their Lok Insaaf party.
Former Rajya Sabha MP Navjot Singh Sidhu had floated the non-political front Awaaz-e-Punjab on September 8. Besides him, the Bains brothers and former Indian hockey captain Pargat Singh were the members of the party.
The Bains brothers had claimed that the front had been in talks with both Congress and AAP for an alliance. Simarjeet Singh Bains is an MLA from Atam Nagar while his elder brother Balwinder Singh Bains represents Ludhiana South seat.
When asked about Sidhu, Simarjeet Singh Bains said that he respected the leader like his elder brother. “I respect him (Sidhu) and will always do,” he said, adding that Sidhu would meet the media soon to clear his stand.
When asked whether Pargat Singh would join Congress as per reports, Simarjeet said, “I do not think he (Pargat) will go with Congress. We will try to bring him into AAP fold.”
Simarjeet also rubbished allegations that the brothers had to bargain hard with AAP for the alliance. “There was no politics and self interest involved in this alliance. This alliance is pious. It was made in the interest of Punjab,” he said.
AAP’s Punjab convenor Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi said the party had always been open to alliances. “There is no restriction on alliance in party’s constitution. This party’s (Lok Insaaf Party) mission is same as ours,” he said. With the MLA brothers joining hands with AAP, the fate of Sidhu and Pargat Singh is still unclear.