The Congress has so far released the names of 108 of the 117 candidates for the February 4 polls.

Former BJP man Sidhu joins Congress just days ahead of Punjab pollsPTI/File
news Politics Sunday, January 15, 2017 - 13:24

 Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday finally joined the Congress after a meeting with its Vice President Rahul Gandhi here.

Gandhi warmly welcomed Sidhu, a former BJP MP from Amritsar, into the party fold at his residence. Sidhu's wife had earlier joined the Congress.

A smiling Gandhi and Sidhu later posed for photographs.

Sidhu is expected to contest the February 4 Punjab assembly election from Amritsar East.

Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said the party "welcomes Sidhu and thanks Gandhi for bringing like-minded leaders under the Congress umbrella".

Former Punjab Chief Minister and state party chief Captain Amarinder Singh congratulated Sidhu over the phone from Bathinda, saying his induction would strengthen the Congress in Punjab. 

"Besides being the party's choice for Amritsar East seat, Sidhu, who is known for his wit and humour besides being strongly nationalist, is the star campaigner in the Punjab assembly polls for the Congress," said a statement from Amarinder Singh's office.

Sidhu, who had earlier toyed with the idea of joining the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) along with his wife, met Gandhi on Friday too to discuss his role in the party.

The Punjab election is expected to be a three-way affair involving the ruling Akali Dal-BJP coalition, the main opposition Congress party and the AAP, a new entrant.

Sidhu quit the BJP saying he was feeling stifled there.

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