It is being speculated that the cricketer-turned-politician was in touch with the Aam Aadmi Party. (Express photo)
Even as former Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu continues to remain incommunicado, pages associated with him on social media have suddenly become active amidst speculations that he was in touch with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Sidhu, who was named as one of the star campaigners for the Congress for the Delhi Assembly elections, did not canvass for any of the party candidates. Congress drew a nil in the 70-member Delhi Assembly where AAP retained power with brute majority of 62 seats.
The Punjab unit of Congress is now closely watching Sidhu amid speculations that political strategist Prashant Kishor, who advised Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the recently concluded elections, could be a bridge between Sidhu and the AAP convenor. Having secured Delhi, the AAP is now looking at strengthening its unit in Punjab, the only other state where the party had performed reasonably well.
In Punjab, the AAP is looking for a CM face who could also end factionalism in the state unit.
Kishor’s relationship with Sidhu goes back to 2017. He was instrumental in getting Sidhu to join the Congress ahead of the Punjab Assembly election despite opposition from Captain Amarinder Singh who was the PPCC president and also the CM candidate. Kishor was strategising for Congress in Punjab.
At that time, Sidhu was in talks with the AAP and the party was getting huge support from people.
Kishor was instrumental in getting Sidhu on board by organising his meeting with AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The meeting had come at a time when several leaders in Congress were of the opinion that the cricketer-turned-politician in AAP had the potential to harm Congress’ prospects.
In the backdrop of all this, the Facebook pages associated with Sidhu have gone active. On one of the pages, his bio-data has been posted along with details about how he quit various political parties for the sake of Punjab. Another Facebook page indicates that that “Sidhu’s era is set to unveil”. The message reads: ‘Kuch hi derr ki khamoshi hai, ab kaano mein shor ayega, tumhara to sirf waqt hai ab Sidhu ka daur ayega.”
One of the pages has uploaded photograph where he is tying the turban after it came off during protest. The photograph dates backs to June 23, 2008 when he was a BJP MP from Amritsar and was protesting against the then UPA government against inflation. He was arrested then.
While a set of Congress leaders feel that he would not quit Congress as he was close to the Gandhi family and had been repeating that he would spend the rest of his life in their service, others feel he was disillusioned in Congress and may join AAP.