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AAP on Monday said former MP Navjot Singh Sidhu will not like to become a “ladder” for the victory of SAD-BJP combine in upcoming Punjab assembly elections by setting up a fourth front. The cricketer-turned-politician had recently formed a new front ‘Awaaz-e-Punjab’.
Describing ‘Awaaz-e-Punjab’ as “a forum, not a political party”, Aam Aadmi Party’s new Punjab Convenor Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi said Sidhu knows if a fourth front is formed barely few months before the polls, it will not be meant for an “electoral victory”.
On Monday, Ghuggi was appointed as the party’s Punjab convener in place of Sucha Singh Chhotepur, who was removed from the post after a video clip surfaced showing him allegedly taking bribes in exchange for poll tickets.
The comedian-turned-politician asked Chhotepur to “prove the party wrong” if he thinks he has not done anything wrong.
Ghuggi asked him to present his side of story before the two-member AAP panel formed to probe the allegations.
“Awaaz-e-Punjab is not a political party. It is a forum formed by four friends … Sidhu and Pargat are mature and respected leaders in Punjab. They also know if fourth front is formed when just few months are left in Punjab elections then it is not meant for (electoral) victory.
“They will not like to create image among people that they are funded by someone and they become a ladder for the SAD-BJP (in elections), ” Ghuggi told.
He was asked how does he see formation of ‘Awaaz-e-Punjab’ by Sidhu along with former Indian hockey captain and MLA Pargat Singh and two Ludhiana MLA brothers-Simarjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains.
About some party volunteers openly speaking against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Ghuggi said, “It is just a small group as their ambitions have not been fulfilled. They became upset when they were denied ticket or position. They are free to go anywhere.”
Notably, AAP’s seven zonal coordinators out of 13 had pledged support to Chhotepur, demanding “team of leaders from Delhi be called back.” The party had also faced protest by volunteers and workers in several parts of Punjab after Chhotepur was sacked.
With Chhotepur deciding to meet volunteers to formulate his next course of action, Ghuggi said, “He is a senior leader…he should join investigation and prove the party wrong”.
However, he slammed Chhotepur for pointing fingers at the two-member AAP panel for probing allegations against him.
About Chhotepur demanding making public the video clip showing him “accepting money”, Ghuggi asked how can it be done so when the panel is investigating the matter.
AAP had recently constituted a two-member probe panel, headed by its Rajouri Garden (Delhi) MLA and Punjab co-ordinator Jarnail Singh and comprising head of the grievance cell Jasbir Singh Bir, to look into the allegations against Chhotepur, who has maintained that in his political career he has “never taken money from anyone”.
On Kejriwal’s proposed Punjab tour starting from September 8, Ghuggi said that it would be a boost to the party.
Kejriwal plans to undertake his Punjab visit amid party facing “crisis” after Chhotepur was removed as Punjab convenor. The final programme of Kejriwal is yet to be finalised but he is scheduled to release AAP’s farmers’ manifesto on September 11 in Moga.