Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu’s new political front Awaaz-e-Punjab might contest the 2017 Punjab Assembly elections as an ally of the Congress or the Aam Aadmi Party, Ludhiana MLA Simarjit Singh Bains said on Monday. Bains, who along with his brother Balwinder Singh Bains helped Sidhu launch the outfit, said the move seeks to bring together all anti-incumbency votes against the ruling Badal family.
The decision was taken during a five-hour-long meeting held on Monday at Sidhu’s house in Delhi, Bains said. They will make the final call ‘within a few days’, he added. “We have decided to look at the possibilities in the Congress and the AAP to see which party has a strong agenda for Punjab and which can look after the state's interests,” he said, according to PTI.
The political outfit ruled out the possibility of joining a fourth front, which has been suggested over the past few days by former AAP Convenor Sucha Singh Chhotepur and suspended AAP MP Dharamvira Gandhi. Bains said he hopes Gandhi and Chhotepur will not create a fourth front as “it will directly benefit the Badals in the polls.”
The Badal family belongs to the Shiromani Akali Dal party, which along with ally Bharatiya Janata Party, is currently in power in Punjab. Opponents have blamed the SAD-BJP alliance for widespread corruption and failing to tackle the state’s drug crisis. A large number of dissident voices, including Sidhu, have been calling for an end to the Badals’ reign in the state.