Ahead of the Punjab assembly poll, Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal, has heaped praises on Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu.
At a press conference in Amritsar on November 23, Kejriwal said that he appreciated the courage of Sidhu for speaking the truth. “As yesterday Punjab chief minister chief Charanjit Singh Channi claimed that he ended the sand mafia in Punjab and the price of sand is reduced, Sidhu exposed his lies. I salute his courage. He always raises public-centric issues. But his voice is always suppressed in the Congress. Earlier this was Captain Amarinder Singh now Channi is doing the same thing with him,” Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal claimed that 25 MLAs and 2-3 MPs of the Congress are in constant touch with him who want to join the AAP.
Kejriwal who claims to be chief claimant of power in Punjab has not declared any leader as the chief ministerial face in Punjab. Kejriwal seems to be dangling a carrot before Sidhu since he has made his desperation known to become chief minister of Punjab. Kejriwal is also making the best use out of infighting in the Congress to gain ground in the bordering state as Sidhu has made his distastes towards the chief minister of his party in Punjab.
Believing the buzzes in the power corridor of the Congress and Punjab, Sidhu remained in touch with Kejriwal and his joining AAP was also speculated. Sidhu, after quitting BJP, had briefly considered joining the Aam Aadmi Party ahead of 2017 Punjab elections.
Sidhu and his friendly relationship with Pakistani leaders
Even if many in the Congress believe Sidhu is a burden bringing disrepute and embarrassment, for Kejriwal and likes he is an asset. Sidhu professes his friendship with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and very recently Sidhu declared Imran Khan as his bada bhai (elder brother). This annoyed many in the Congress who criticised Sidhu knowing well that he enjoys the blessings of the Nehru-Gandhi family.
“Imran Khan may be anybody’s elder brother but for India he is that cat’s paw of Pak Deep State ISI-Military combine that drones arms and narcotics into Punjab and sends terrorists on a daily basis across LOC in J&K. Have we forgotten martyrdom of our soldiers in Poonch so soon?,” national Spokesperson of the Congress Manish Tewari had said.
Sidhu an acolyte of the Pakistani deep state and a person of unstable mind: Capt Amarinder Singh
When former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh left the Congress after writing a seven page resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he termed Sidhu as an acolyte of the Pakistani deep state and a person of an unstable mind. But Sonia Gandhi afforded to lose a credible leader like Amarinder Singh. He has also said that Sidhu is a threat to national security.
Kejriwal’s party has a track record of supporting Khalistani elements
In 2018, the Republic TV had aired a sting operation that showed a pro-Khalistan movement leader claiming that his front had funded the AAP during the 2017 Punjab Assembly elections. Gurcharan Singh, a member of once banned Dal Khalsa, said that his front had backed the AAP during the polls because it wanted to upset the political forces.
Actor and one-time Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate and campaigner Gul Panag too disclosed having warned the party against any pandering and association with Khalistan separatists during the Punjab Assembly elections in 2017. She alleged that AAP was clearly seen romanticising Khalistanis for electoral gain.