Punjab elections: State back to three cornered contest with Awaaz-e-Punjab’s demise

The image of Navjot Singh Sidhu too has taken a heavy beating in the state with his waxing and waning ever since he resigned from the Rajya Sabha.

By: MAN AMAN SINGH CHHINA | Chandigarh | Updated: November 27, 2016 8:43 pm
punjab elections, punjab polls, aap, congress, bjp, punjab aap elections, punjab aap, navjot singh sidhu, sidhu punjab, awaaz e punjab sidhu, awaz e punjab news, india news, indian express news Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu (2nd from right) had announced a new political front ‘Awaaz-e-Punjab’ with former Indian Hockey Team Captain Pargat Singh (2nd from left) and two independent MLAs Balwinder Singh Bains (extreme right) and Simarjeet Singh Bains (extreme left) in Chandigarh. (Source: Express photo by Jaipal Singh)

With the much touted fourth front in Punjab assembly elections, Awaaz-e-Punjab (AeP), having been nipped in the bud and its leadership opting for greener pastures even before it could take full shape, the contest in the polls has once again assumed the dimension of a triangular contest.

Launched with much promise of being a political platform with a difference which would taken on the established political parties like the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Congress as well as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the AeP leaders have turned out to be just like any other ordinary politicians in Punjab. When it came to the crunch, the Bains brothers and Sidhu chose to take the well trodden path of protecting own political future and all the tall promises of bringing a political revolution in the state fell flat.

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After having shared the same platform as Navjot Sidhu when he lambasted the AAP leadership, including its national convenor, Arvind Kejriwal, Ludhiana independent MLAs, Simarjeet Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains have joined hands with the same very party whom they had discarded as an option just two months back. Much political sheen has been taken off both the brothers with their move to enter into an agreement with a party whom they had opposed some time back.

The image of Navjot Singh Sidhu too has taken a heavy beating in the state with his waxing and waning ever since he resigned from the Rajya Sabha. Sidhu’s moves looked increasingly hesitant and uncertain as he maintained am ambiguity about his status with the BJP and it seemed that this was part of a calculated move. However, when he finally resigned from the party’s primary membership and held apress conference in Chandigarh to announce AeP with immense gusto and faith in himself as well as Pargat Singh and Bains brothers, for a moment it had seemed that he had finally taken the plunge in Punjab’s electoral politics.

However, the permutations and combinations of political pundits on how this new front will cut into anti-Akali votes and would end up helping the ruling party, went for a toss when Sidhu announced that the AeP will not be a full fledged party. This came as a shock to his own collaborators-Bains brothers and Pargat-as they seemed to have been caught unawares. From then on the descent from a politically moral high ground leading to bargaining with Congress and AAP was steady. Sidhu opened negotiations with the same Congress which he had attacked in his press conference and whose state president, Capt Amarinder Singh, had been dismissed by him as just another face of the Akalis. And with his wife joining the party in days to come, he too is now expected to do so in her footsteps to complete a spectacular u-turn.

With the demise of AeP, the Congress and AAP are again in the reckoning as strong contenders in the 2017 elections. Whatever traction the AeP leaders could have derived has been negated with the dilly-dallying shown by them in charting their own future and then by joining hands with the very people they had opposed.

The loser in real terms in the short life span of AeP has been former SAD MLA Pargat Singh who was in the thick and thin with Bains brothers and Sidhu but who has been left bewildered while others went around negotiating new terms. Eventually, he too had no option but to cut his losses and opted for joining the Congress, though in his case, with much of his clean reputation still intact.

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  1. V
    Vidyasagar Cheruvu
    Nov 29, 2016 at 1:58 am
    Siddhu's carrer is like an IT employee who resigned a company with 3 offers and the moment he completes notice period, IT sector moves into recession. The IT employee who bargains hard with 3 companies during his notice period turned dampsquib when time comes to choose one. Sidhhu needs to wait for another wave of IT upswing
    1. V
      Vidyasagar Cheruvu
      Nov 29, 2016 at 1:55 am
      Sidhhu has lost his FORM again. While Sidhhu family's aatmas moving from AAP to Cong, People of PUNJAB should choose a workable Govt. They should not fall in the AAP's trap. Delhi's state of affairs and Delhites plight should be the benchmark. Delhites now realize that their The foolishness is irreversible. Hope PUNJAB and PUNJABIS prove different and elect an able, stable and strong leadership.
      1. R
        Rajdeep Singh
        Nov 29, 2016 at 1:00 pm
        1. S
          Nov 27, 2016 at 5:30 pm
          The bad hit will be for Khujli as he stand exposed in Panjab due his total failure in Delhi. During election days people of Delhi are well prepared to provide AAP report card in Delhi where for the last 3 years every development is on sand still and more and illegal action by AAP Govt. are coming out. The report of LG appointed committee is also due and illegality of AAP Govt. in many case. will be a good lesson for people of Panjab to shun AAP.
          1. Y
            Nov 27, 2016 at 11:53 pm
            Hahahahaha.. :) Keep on cursing ...
            1. P
              Nov 27, 2016 at 5:03 pm
              Sidhu is the clic example of political misadventure.lt;br/gt;He mistakenly believed that because of his por image he can arm twist the mandarins of BJP and bargain political concessions.lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;He made a series of bad moves.lt;br/gt;And, he is paying politically now.lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;He did not resign from BJP overnight.lt;br/gt;First he leaked the info that he is mulling quitting BJP.lt;br/gt;He also leaked the info that he might consider joining AAP.lt;br/gt;In doing so he expected BJP to coax him to remain in the lotus fold.lt;br/gt;Amit Shah did not budge.lt;br/gt;Instead, in no ambiguous words Shah let it be known that Sidhu may quit if he is not happy with the party. But, should he decide to remain in the party then he must obey party discipline.lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;As even on the face of ensuing state election in Punjab BJP did not try to retain him, he received the biggest jolt in his political career.lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;Had BJP tried to negotiate with him he would have demanded to be the chief ministerial candidate of the party. But BJP cannot betray akalis who stood by it through thick and thin ever since.lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;To save his face he tried bargaining with AAP.lt;br/gt;But, AAP too refused to submit.lt;br/gt;AAP has their own plans for Punjab.lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;He had no other alternative but to float a party himself.lt;br/gt;Which he did.lt;br/gt;But, is it that easy to float a party and then expect to win sizeable seats at the snap of the fingers?lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;Sidhu realised the impracticability of floating a party the hard way.lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;Where does he go now?lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;Congress of course.lt;br/gt;That is the only wider platform left for him at present.lt;br/gt;-lt;br/gt;He must have reduced bowlers of repute as a dashing batsman, but Amit Shah bowled him out with a superb political googly from which he may not ever politically recover.
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