EditorialSanctum

It’s raining parties in Punjab ahead of polls

It may still be a good five months to the crucial assembly elections in Punjab but the state is already witnessing “party time” of a different kind. With the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the state, the assembly elections were clearly headed for a triangular contest with the new challenger pitted against traditional political rivals — the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance and the opposition Congress. But events of the past fortnight have resulted in an unexpected churn — a fourth front has been launched, and a fifth could be in the offing.

First, it was cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu who, after feverish speculation about his joining AAP or even the Congress, floated a new political outfit — ‘Awaaz-e-Punjab’ (Voice of Punjab). Sidhu launched the new outfit with three sitting Punjab lawmakers — former Indian hockey team captain and Olympian Pargat Singh, who is a sitting Akali Dal legislator, and two independent legislators from Ludhiana, Simarjit Bains and Balwinder Bains.

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