Big setback for Sidhu, Bains brothers abandon him to join AAP

Chandigarh, November 21
Giving a new twist to political alignments in Punjab, two independent legislator brothers who were the founders of the “Awaaz-e-Punjab” with cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, on Monday announced an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The legislators, Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjeet Singh Bains, announced the alliance of their Lok Insaf Party with the AAP for the upcoming assembly polls.
AAP Punjab in-charge Sanjay Singh and AAP Punjab convener Gurpreet Singh were present when the tie-up was announced.
The AAP will leave five of the 117 assembly seats, including both seats of the Bains brothers, to the Lok Insaf Party.
Balwinder Bains told the media here that they would try to persuade Sidhu and ex-Akali Dal legislator and former Indian hockey team captain and Olympian Pargat Singh, with whom the Bains brothers founded the “Awaaz-e-Punjab”, to also join hands with the AAP.
“Our fight is against the corruption unleashed in Punjab by the Badals. That is why we have done an alliance with AAP,” Balwinder Bains said. The Bains brothers, who had fallen out with the Akali Dal leadership three years ago, have significant influence in Ludhiana district.
Both brothers had announced their resignation from the outgoing Punjab assembly last week during a special session on the water sharing controversy with other states.
Sidhu had, in September, announced the `Awaaz-e-Punjab` saying that his fight was against the system and the leaders who had ruined Punjab.
He had resigned from the Rajya Sabha on July 18, fuelling speculation that he may join the AAP.
However, the front, which hobnobbed with the AAP and Congress, could not move forward politically in the past nearly 75 days.
“At this stage, `Awaaz-e-Punjab` is not a party. It is a forum for good governance,” Sidhu had announced.
Pargat Singh was suspended from the Akali Dal for “anti-party” activities in August this year.
Assembly elections in Punjab are likely to be held early next year.

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