Yet another meeting of Awaaz-e-Punjab forum is scheduled to be held at the New Delhi residence of Navjot Singh Sidhu Wednesday even as the Congress has mocked at him for leaving the Bains brothers and Pargat Singh in the lurch. The meeting will be held with the three other forum members —Ludhiana MLAs Balwinder Singh Bains, Simarjeet Singh Bains and former SAD MLA Pargat Singh. In this meeting, Sidhu is expected to finally take a call on the forum’s future plans.
The Congress has lost no chance in hitting out at Sidhu now that it is all but clear that no alliance of any sort is going to be cobbled with the outfit. Speaking to The Indian Express, senior Congress leader Sunil Jakhar said: “People had such high expectations from him (Sidhu), some even got scared that he will enter the electoral battle. His advantage was that he had no blemish on his career and people expected him to fill in the vacuum in the higher leadership of AAP. However, he has shown anything but leadership qualities by his recent actions and by jumping from one end of spectrum to another. This pendulum kind of approach will never work”.
Jakhar said the biggest sufferers in the entire Awaaz-e-Punjab indecision have been former Pargat Singh and Bains brothers. “Sidhu has left them in the lurch and done great disservice to them,” said Jakhar. All the three partners of Sidhu have put the onus on deciding about the future of the forum on Sidhu but a succession of adverse decisions and statements from him have left very few options open for them.
With the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) almost ruled out as viable options, the only door left open seems to be an alliance with Sucha Singh Chhotepur’s fledgling outfit which may not reap as big dividends as a partnership with an established party would have done. When contacted, Balwinder Singh Bains refuted the allegations being levelled that the forum is a non-starter. “If all these political parties are talking about us, then you must agree there is some reason for that. We are going to come up with an alternative for Punjab and this will happen very soon. We expect positive results from our meeting tomorrow,” he said.
Commenting on the doubts being raised on Sidhu’s ability to lead, Bains said these very parties had reached out to him in the first place. “Did Sidhu approach any of these parties? It were they who came to him. We have the best intentions for the state and want to improve state of affairs while these parties are still talking about unrelated issues,” he said.