In a significant political development in Punjab, which may benefit the Aam Aadmi Party, former cricketer turned BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday announced that he will not float a party to contest the upcoming Punjab Assembly election, as he does not wish to play “spoilsport” by dividing anti-incumbency votes.
Days after announcing the launch of Aawaaz-e-Punjab, the former BJP MP said they have decided against forming a political party as it is too short a time to prepare for polls, but added that they are open to “alliance” for the betterment of Punjab.
“The forum welcomes any alliance for the betterment of Punjab and will not be a political party. May Punjab, Punjabiyat and every Punjabi win,” he said.
In a statement, Sidhu said the forum will not “play spoilsport”.
“The past is the best prophet to predict the future – the minimum time taken by a new party to win a state is almost two years…three months is too short a time for this herculean task,” he said.
“I have pondered over the fluid political situation in Punjab, weighed the pros and cons and come to a conclusive decision…We will not confuse the people of Punjab but give them clarity to vote in Punjab’s interest.
“We will not divide the anti-incumbency vote bank which could indirectly benefit the corroborative and collusive Badal-Amarinder nexus which has plundered Punjab in the last 15 years. This will defeat our purpose of bringing a change for the betterment of Punjab,” Sidhu said.
“Our battle is to shake the system that has ruined Punjab. Politics is not a profession but a mission. There is no personal or political vendetta, just a burning desire to place Punjab ahead of us and reinforce the positive forces,” he said.
The cricketer-turned-politician claimed that the launch of the Aawaaz-e-Punjab has had a “rousing response” in the state.
Sidhu, along with MLA Pargat Singh and Ludhiana MLAs Simarjit Bains and Balwinder Bains, had recently announced the launch of the forum here after a public fallout here with BJP which he formally quit on September 14.
Earlier there was speculation that he would join Aam Aadmi Party but it was ruled out after he lashed out at its national convener Arvind Kejriwal.