Co-presented by

Amarinder Singh does a u-turn on Awaz-e-Punjab, says Navjot Singh Sidhu, others welcome to join party

Patiala: Amid speculations over former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu joining the party, Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday said he has no "reservation whatsoever" to the cricketer-turned-politician and other leaders of Awaaz-e-Punjab joining the Congress.

Singh said he had always maintained that Sidhu and all other leaders who repose faith in the Congress' leadership and its policies were welcome to join the party.

 Amarinder Singh does a u-turn on Awaz-e-Punjab, says Navjot Singh Sidhu, others welcome to join party

A file photo of Navjot Singh Sidhu. PTI

"I don't know why I'm being asked this question repeatedly," the former Chief Minister told reporters here, adding that his stand on the issue had always been clear. "In fact, I was the one who told Sidhu, when he left the BJP, that he should join the Congress," the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president said.

"Whether it's Sidhu or the Bains brothers (referring to Independent MLAs Simarjit and Balwinder who are part of Sidhu's front) or Pargat Singh, the doors of my party have always been open to them," Singh said, adding that these were people "who had their roots in the Congress and could not possibly remain away from the party for long".

Maintaining that his stand on the issue had always been clear and categorical, Amarinder said, that eventually, the interests of the party are supreme. "And if the party is strengthened by the joining of like-minded people, we can only gain from any such development," he said.

Notably, Singh had repeatedly said that there was no talk going on with Sidhu's forum in the wake of coming Punjab Assembly polls. On the other hand, Awaaz-e-Punjab member and Independent MLA Simarjit Singh had earlier claimed that Sidhu was in touch with Congress high command for alliance.

Amarinder had earlier done "flip-flop" over Sidhu's front first saying, "Sidhu has Congress in his DNA" and then later describing Awaaz-e-Punjab as "Tonga party". The Sidhu-led front had earlier said it would not align with the Congress in Punjab.

But Rajya Sabha MP and former Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa has appealed to the party high command to take Sidhu on board in a joint fight against the ruling Badals. Sidhu, who quit his Rajya Sabha seat and the BJP, formed Awaaz-e-Punjab last month but is yet to align with any party.

Your guide to the latest seat tally, live updates, analysis and list of winners for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 542 constituencies on counting day of the general elections.

Updated Date: Oct 24, 2016 17:59:04 IST