After switching sides from BJP to Aam Aadmi Party and subsequently squandering the opportunity, firebrand former cricketer Navjot Singh Sandhu floated a new party. After shaking hands with Pargat Singh, on September 2, 2016, he launched this new front called Awaz-e-Punjab.
There were rumors that Navjot Singh would join the AAP and there was a meeting with the party head Arvind Kejriwal which ended inconclusively. Probably, the former cricketer was asking for too much which the AAP head was not willing to give. The former cricketer had the same grouse against BJP which, according to him, was asking him not to get involved in Punjab politics and instead to work for promoting BJP on a national scale.
In the past, Navjot was at loggerhead with the Akali Dal. This BJP partner is presently ruling the state. After the faux pass with his flirtation with AAP, his wife Dr. Navjot Kaur Sidhu, a BJP MLA from Punjab, made a scathing attack on the working of the AAP Delhi Government. Incidentally, Ms. Siddhu was a staunch supporter of AAP earlier.
The latest Googly from the star cricketer made the major opposition parties, both Congress and BJP going into a defensive mode. Navjot had previously hinted that he would create new power equations in Punjab and would seek the help of MLA Pargat Singh, Former Congress MLA Ramanjeet Sekki and other like-minded people.
Navjot Singh quit the Rajya Sabha seat and blamed the BJP for the action. The party did not want his involvement in Punjab politics. The BJP –Akali Dal coalition has endured for long and the party did not want it to be torn by the reckless comments of Sidhu.
Both the major players in the electoral battle in Punjab, Congress and the Akali Dal –BJP combine are taking stock of the changing equations. The fight was a three-cornered contest earlier with AAP, Congress and BJP-Akali combined locking horns. With the entry of a fourth factor in the form of Siddhu, it needs to be seen whose votes his party is going to be betting on and which party is likely to bear the brunt of the loss.