Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday said political strategist Prashant Kishor has not gone in touch with cricketer-turned-politician and former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu over his joining the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Singh's remarks came a day after Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal made it clear he would be happy to have the 56-year-old Sidhu in his team.
There was also speculation that Sidhu is in talks with Kishor over joining AAP before the Punjab assembly polls.
"Prashant has not got in touch with Navjot Sidhu over his joining AAP," said Singh on Friday.
On Kejriwal welcoming Sidhu to his party, Singh said, "You know Kejriwal. He deliberately gives out such statements. Sidhu is a part of the Congress. If he has any issues, he is welcome to come and address them with me."
Sidhu quit the BJP to join Congress in 2017. He was later dropped from the cabinet after run-ins with Singh. He has since maintained a low profile.
The AAP was in talks with Sidhu ahead of last Assembly polls as well. But things did not work out over the choice of chief ministerial candidate. Sidhu later joined the Congress and was inducted into the Singh government as a minister for the local government, tourism and cultural.
Ironically, Kishor, who is said to be the intermediary between AAP and Sidhu, had managed Singh’s election campaign in 2017 Assembly polls.
Singh reiterated his intention to contest the next Assembly elections in the state, but said the decision on leading the party rested with Gandhi.
Singh said the call on Kishor advising the Congress in Punjab for the 2022 elections will be taken by party chief Sonia Gandhi. "55 of our legislators were in favour of Prashant's support," he said. "Who leads Punjab in 2022 for the Congress will be decided by Sonia Gandhi. My friends have said I should lead."
At a video press conference, Singh said though he had initially termed the 2017 polls as his last election, he had subsequently, on the persuasion of his party colleagues, announced his decision to contest the 2022 elections, and there was no change in that stance.