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Punjab: Navjot Singh Sidhu set to join Congress

After series of unsuccessful experiences with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu is likely to join the Congress on January 9 or 10.

According to sources, Sidhu will be given the choice by the Congress leadership to contest either from Amritsar East assembly constituency, held by his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu till recently, or Amritsar Lok Sabha seat.

The assembly elections in Punjab along with the by-poll for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat will be held on February 4. If the former BJP MP decides against contesting the elections, the Congress will field his wife from Amritsar East whilst utilizing his services in campaigning for the party candidates across the state.

Subsequent to stopping the BJP in September a year ago, Sidhu had been in conversation with both the AAP and the Congress. However, his negotiations with the AAP broke down after the new party rejected his demand for naming a chief ministerial candidate ahead of the polls. His wife along with former Indian hockey captain Pargat Singh later joined the Congress in November.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will release the Congress poll manifesto for Punjab at the Congress headquarters on January 9.  The Congress will likewise finalize its third and last rundown of 40 candidates on January 10 in a meeting of its central election committee, headed by Sonia Gandhi.