CHANDIGARH/NEW DELHI: Amid his political future in the Congress hanging in balance, former Punjab party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday met Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann at the Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh.
Sidhu was all praise for the Aam Aadmi Party leader after their 50-minute meeting, saying that Mann is “very receptive, listens, down to earth and has no ego”.
The cricketer-turned-politician said: “I came here to sort out the problems faced by Punjab. Mann has no ego. I didn’t feel like I met a chief minister. He is the same as he was 15 years ago or six months before. He is more down to earth.”
Sidhu’s meeting with Mann came days after he called the latter a “rubber doll”, alluding to the Opposition charge that the state government was being run by the AAP leadership from Delhi. Terming the meeting as “positive”, Sidhu said, “We spoke about law and order, financial emergency, drug problem and the nexus between smugglers and the police.”
Sidhu claimed he suggested Mann that money to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore could be generated from the liquor sector.
“I used to give the same suggestions when our government was in power, but nobody listened,” he said.
Meanwhile, there is a buzz that the former cricketer might join hands with election strategist Prashant Kishor who is planning to chart his own political course.
After Kishor announced his plan to embark on a padyatra in Bihar in October, Sidhu had tweeted ecstatically.
“Had a wonderful meeting with my old friend PK... Old wine, Old gold and Old friends still the best!!!”He had tagged a picture of himself with PK with the tweet, sparking speculations in the political circles.
Sources close to PK’s team claimed Sidhu may join hands with the strategist in heralding a “Jan Surraj” movement in the country, starting from Bihar.
“Even though Bihar doesn’t have a big population of Sikhs, PK would like to bring Sidhu on board to pull crowd,” a source said.
Arun Kumar Pandey, a political analyst in Bihar, felt PK might be trying to bring in Sidhu eyeing the considerable Sikh voters in Patna.
“But Sidhu does not hold a stronger political influence among the Sikh population in Bihar, where caste equations still plays a big role in politics,” Pandey said.
Chance of boarding Kishor’s campaign bus
Sources close to the PK-team claimed Sidhu may join hands with the strategist in heralding a “Jan Surraj” movement.
Kishor has announced a 3,000-km-long Padytra from October 2 after taking a resolve to bring ‘People’s Governance”, at the Gandhi Ashram in West Champaran