Navjot Sidhu not to float political party

Chandigarh, Sep 21 (IANS) Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday said he won’t float a political party in Punjab as it will divide the anti-incumbency vote and help the ruling BJP-SAD combine.

“I have pondered over the fluid political situation in the state, weighed the pros and cons and reached the conclusion that we will not play spoilsport and confuse people further but give them clarity to vote in Punjab’s interests,” the former BJP MP said in a statement.

Sidhu had on September 8 formally announced a new political front, ‘Awaaz-e-Punjab’, along with Olympian Pargat Singh, saying his fight was against the system and the leaders who had “ruined” Punjab.

In the process, he also put an end to speculation that he might join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

“The Bains brothers (two independent legislators) roared like lions and wanted to contest on all 117 seats. Pargat Singh, the eternal optimist, was also for it,” Sidhu said.

The former MP from Amritsar said they won’t divide the anti-incumbency vote, which could benefit the “Badal-Amarinder nexus”.

This was a reference to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Congress leader Amarinder Singh.

“This will defeat our purpose of bringing a change for the betterment of Punjab,” he said.

Citing time shortage in the run-up to the polls, Sidhu said the minimum time taken by a new political party to win a state election was almost two years.

“Three months is too short a time to accomplish the Herculean task. We want to shake the system that has ruined Punjab.

“Politics for us is not a profession but a mission. There is no personal or political vendetta; just a burning desire to take Punjab ahead,” he said.

Sidhu, however, added: “The forum welcomes any alliance for the betterment of Punjab and will not become a political party.”

Sidhu on September 14 formally resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party and said it was a “painful decision” for him.

Olympian Pargat Singh told reporters that the ‘Awaaz-e-Punjab’ had decided not to form a political outfit and it would rather have an alliance with the Congress or the AAP.

The AAP has emerged as a major contender for power in Punjab, whose politics until now was dominated by the Akali Dal and the Congress.

–IANS

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