Independent MLA from Ludhiana and a member of Awaaz-e-Punjab, Simarjit Singh Bains, Thursday urged Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh to ask his party high command about who was in touch with their front.
Bains said, “We give him the opportunity to find out himself as to who came to us with a proposal. Ask your (Congress) high command who is bringing proposals for us. Otherwise we will make it clear ourselves in a few days’ time. We request Congress general secretary Bibi ji [Asha Kumari] also to find out what is happening in their party. First ask them [high command] as to what they want.”
Bains was responding to Amarinder’s repeated statements that nobody in the Congress was in touch with Awaaz-e-Punjab. “We come from a family where elders are respected. That is why we were treating him like an elder and not opening our mouth. But it is too much now. I want to say here that Amarinder does not even know himself what he is saying and doing. It is a part of his habit. He gave a clean chit to [Revenue Minister Bikram Singh] Majithia. There was a time when he said Navjot Sidhu had Congress in his DNA…..then he called us a tonga party. I want to advise him to stick to his stand at least.”
The Independent MLA said Awaaz-e-Punjab was holding a meeting at Sidhu’s Delhi residence Friday. “We all are going there. We will let everyone know,” he said.
Balwinder Singh Bains, the elder of the two Independent legislator brothers, said it was clear that they would not accept any merger proposal. “We have made it clear that we are open to an alliance.”
Bains (Senior) said Amarinder does not even know what was happening in his party, “This is what happened last time in 2012. He believed he was coming to power. And what happened? If he had an iota of inkling about the reality, he would not have been defeated by his over confidence.”
Junior Bains also countered Amarinder’s statement that he had met them three-four times, “We want to know when? We have neither spoken to him on the phone nor personally…..at least in the last three months when the political scene in Punjab has livened up.”
Amarinder also reached Delhi Thursday. Party sources said he was likely to meet the high command during his visit. He is slated to attend a family function. Sources said Amarinder may discuss the “Sidhu issue” with party seniors.
Reacting to Bains’ statement, the Congress Punjab in-charge Asha Kumari maintained that they (the brothers) are not in talks with anyone in the Congress, “I am absolutely strong on my stand that they are not talking to anyone. I am the face of the Congress and I saying there is no such move. I also repeat here that in any case if Sidhu and Co wants to join the Congress, they are most welcome to join us unconditionally. Political parties do talk to each other. Now, the CPI has come up with a proposal and we have constituted a committee of three led by secretary Harish Choudhary. After this, we will take it to the party seniors,” she said.