No Sidhu rider, he needs time to think, says Kejriwal

Kejriwal on Friday sought to put an end to “rumours” on his possible induction into the party.

Published: 20th August 2016 03:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th August 2016 03:36 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: AMID speculation over former BJP leader Navjot Singh Sidhu joining the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday sought to put an end to “rumours” on his possible induction into the party saying the cricketer-turned-politician has not put any pre-condition and just needs “time to think”.

Opening up about the negotiations for the first time, Kejriwal said it was his duty to clarify his position on the former cricketer. He added that he will respect Sidhu regardless of whether he joins his party or not. Earlier, the AAP chief had said that talks of Sidhu becoming the party’s face in Punjab were “premature”.

In a series of tweets, Kejriwal said, “Would Navjot Sidhu ji join AAP lot of rumours? It’s my duty to put forward our side. We have greatest regard for this cricket legend. He met me last week.” He further pointed, “(Sidhu) Didn’t put any pre-condition. He needs time to think. Let’s respect that. He is a very good human being and a cricket legend. My respect for him would continue whether he joins or not.” Kejriwal’s reaction comes after reports that AAP’s talks with Sidhu collapsed because he wants to be projected as the chief ministerial candidate and is also negotiating a role for his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, currently a BJP lawmaker in Punjab. AAP, however, didn’t agree to either demand and said Sidhu has to settle for a star campaigner role to start with and work his way up.

Interestingly, the impasse in Sidhu’s talks with AAP has given an opportunity for the Congress, which has indicated that it is willing to offer Sidhu more, short of a presumptive CM’s role. Sources said the party is ready to look at a deputy chief ministerial role for Sidhu, after two or three years.

Sidhu, who went public in July with his angst against the BJP, has been in talks with AAP ahead of elections in Punjab next year.

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