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The Aam Aadmi Party hit back at Navjot Singh Sidhu Thursday following the cricketer-politician’s claims about the nature of AAP’s negotiations with him. Sanjay Singh, in charge of AAP affairs in Punjab, issued a statement with his own version of their talks.
Singh said he went to Sidhu’s home and the latter said forcefully that he wanted to end the corrupt regime of the Badals and would support AAP in the “battle against adharma, with dharma”. He said Sidhu had never indicated he was interested in contesting the election or that he wanted the CM’s chair. “When apprised of the clause of AAP’s constitution on fielding only one member of a family in poll fray, Sidhu had replied that he was not a selfish person to contest election from his wife’s assembly segment. And that he had got a message from God to support AAP to save Punjab,” the statement said.
Although Sidhu had mocked Arvind Kejriwal in the Delhi assembly polls, Kejriwal chose to forget that in the larger interest of Punjab, Singh said. Even a child of Punjab knows that AAP is the only political alternative to SAD-BJP and Congress, Singh claimed. If any “fourth front” comes in, it would benefit the Badals and the people would not tolerate any front that would try to hinder the effort to oust the Badals, he said.
Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh too issued a statement dismissing Sidhu’s front: “Their status looks like that of a confused and undecided couple who are not sure whether they should marry or just carry on with the relationship to keep all future options open.”
Sidhu vs Badals
Sidhu had attacked the Badal family several times during his event, including for allegedly promoting “one-family rule”. Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, SAD chief, hit back by referring to Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur, who is BJP chief parliamentary secretary.
“Does Sidhu want his family at the helm of affairs? Does he want his and his wife’s rule?” Sukhbir Badal told The Indian Express. In Mohali, Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal termed Sidhu’s front as a “bunch of fugitives and defectors”. “People who have deceived their mother party could never be loyal to the state or its people. Sidhu worked with the same government and was elected MP during the same regime that he is attacking today,” the CM said.
“Sidhu has attacked Kejriwal for offering a ticket to his wife and asking him to campaign,” SAD MP Prem Singh Chandumajra said. “Is that not promoting what Sidhu calls nepotism and one-family politics?”
Navjot Kaur Sidhu, meanwhile, attended the first day of the assembly session and attended a joint meeting of SAD and BJP legislators. A SAD leader said he had “never been confused as he was today” after he saw Kaur in the assembly and subsequently in the meeting at a time when Sidhu was announcing a new forum.