Congress is planning to field Sidhu against the Badals in the upcoming Punjab polls
Asian Age correspondent
New Delhi,16 January 2017. “I am a born Congressman, have come back to my roots,” said former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday, a day after he officially joined the Congress Party ahead of the Punjab Assembly polls.
“My battle is not personal, I am fighting for the redemption of Punjab,” said Sidhu. Attacking the ruling Badals, he said “the government which was for the people, has become the government for a family.”
“Run Badal run, abandon your chair and scoot, Punjab’s people are coming,” he said, mocking the Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
“This is beginning of a new inning. On the front foot. Punjab, Punjabiyat and every Punjabi must win,” Sidhu had said on Sunday.
Sidhu had met party vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday at his residence in Delhi and had formally joined the grand old party.
This political development comes months after the cricketer-turned politician’s wife Navjot Kaur joined the Congress.
Navjot Kaur had earlier this month said that either she or her husband would contest the Punjab elections.
“We don’t have anything in mind. We only want to work for the welfare of Punjab. One out of us (Navjot Kaur and Navjot Sidhu) is going to contest the upcoming election, for sure,” Kaur said.
She also said that Sidhu would campaign in all the 117 assembly constituencies in the poll-bound state.
“We have to help to develop every sector of Punjab, be it industry or agriculture. Ours is a golden state and we have to make it number one state in the country,” she said.
According to reports, the Congress is planning to field Sidhu against the Badals in the upcoming polls, and is expected to contest from Amritsar East seat.
The former BJP leader may either be fielded from Lambi, where Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is the Shiromani Akali Akali (SAD) candidate or from Jalalabad against Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Criticising the MP from Amritsar for his decision to join Congress, state deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal said, “Ex-MP from Amritsar is joining the party and party family that attacked the Golden Temple in absence of Punjab leaders.”
The Congress has so far released the names of 100 candidates. However, the grand old party still has to select candidates for the remaining 17 seats for elections to the 117-member Punjab Assembly. Punjab goes to polls on February 4.