Cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu today explained how his talks with the Aam Aadmi Party fell through, saying there was no talk of ticket for him. During their meeting, party chief Arvind Kejriwal only wanted him to “campaign,” he said, adding, “How can I change the system without being in the system?”
“Kejriwal did not even want me to fight the MLA election. He said you campaign, we will make your wife fight election, make her the minister,” he said, declaring the AAP chief as “insecure”.
Mr Kejriwal, he said, sent party leaders Durgesh Pathak and Sanjay Singh to his house to recruit him. “I did not meet them. My wife insisted that you must meet. I met and asked them, ‘What do you have? Should I leave Rajya Sabha? Do you have Rajya Sabha?'”
They decided on a meeting and Mr Sidhu went to Mr Kejriwal, and was told that his role would only involve campaigning.
“Imagine, a four-time MP goes to him and says that I have come for Punjab. And then Chhotepur (AAP’s Punjab convenor Sucha Singh Chhotepur who was later sacked) goes on record and says Bhagwant (Mann) told him (whether he is right or wrong, Chhotepur will tell) that if Sidhu comes, ‘our markets will close’,” he added.
Even after he joined the Congress, there have been periodic reports of AAM and Mr Sidhu warming up to each other.
Mr Sidhu’s tweets on AAP last year had set off speculation on whether he will join the party. In a couple of tweets, the Congress leader said AAP had always “recognised my vision and work for Punjab” and knows who is really fighting for the state.
“Our opposition AAP has always recognised my vision and work for Punjab. Be it before 2017- Beadbi, drugs, farmers issues, corruption and power crisis faced by people of Punjab, raised by me or today as I present ‘Punjab Model’. It is clear they know – who is really fighting for Punjab,” read one post.