When asked whether he wanted Sidhu should join AAP keeping the 2022 Assembly polls in mind, Bhagwant Mann said, “We want every person who truly loves Punjab and works for the betterment of the state without any vested interest.”
Punjab president of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann Wednesday said the party has not held any “official” discussions with Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu with regard to his joining the party fold even as he added that the party’s doors were open to all who want to work for the welfare of the state.
Addressing a press conference here after an internal meeting of the party, Mann said: “Nobody can doubt Sidhu’s character. He is an honest man. I have always been his fan from his cricket days. When he used to open the batting with Manoj Prabhakar or Srikanth, I used to switch off the TV after he would get out. He knows about this as we were co-hosts in laughter challenge. But we have not held any talks with him at official level.”
When asked whether he wanted Sidhu should join AAP keeping the 2022 Assembly polls in mind, Mann said, “We want every person who truly loves Punjab and works for the betterment of the state without any vested interest.”
There has been widespread speculation that AAP is trying to woo Sidhu in its effort to capitalise in Punjab after the party’s massive victory in Delhi Assembly polls. However, Mann refused to comment anything on the aspect of Sidhu being a Chief Ministerial candidate for the party. When asked about another sulking Congress MLA, Pargat Singh, Mann said that he was an accomplished hockey player who did well for India and he too was welcome in the party if he wanted to join.
Ever since he had resigned from the state Cabinet in mid-2019, Sidhu has maintained his silence and kept his distance from the media. He had been at loggerheads with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, after being stripped off Local Government and Tourism and Cultural Affairs Departments in the Cabinet reshuffle in June 2019. He had been given the Power, New and Renewable Energy portfolio which he did not take up.
Sidhu, who was included in the list of Congress party’s star campaigners in Delhi, also did not campaign for the party during the Assembly polls.
“We will take the party’s development model to each home,” said Mann adding that health, education and electricity were the burning issues of Punjab.
Mann further said that the party’s “nation building” campaign has been rolled out in Punjab under which party will reach out to people by way of mobile number. “People will just have to give a missed call on 9871010101,” he said. He said the party received 11 lakh calls within 24 hours of the launch of this mobile number throughout the country.
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