- Navjot Sidhu's wife said he would be contesting from Amritsar East seat
- Election will be held in Punjab on February 4
- Mr Sidhu had quit the BJP in September 2016
Mr Sidhu came on board after lengthy negotiations and several rounds of meetings with Mr Gandhi. His wife Navjot Kaur said he would be contesting from the Amritsar East seat. Sources also said he would get one ticket per family for some of his supporters. As one of the party's star campaigner, he would also address more than 70 rallies.
It was, however, not clear that Mr Sidhu would be offered the post of the deputy Chief Minister, as he had earlier demanded.
Today' meeting with Rahul Gandhi -- the second in four days -- happened at mid-day, during which the Congress vice-president welcomed him into the party. Within minutes, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, "INC welcomes S.Navjot Singh Sidhu & thanks Rahul Gandhiji for bringing likeminded leaders under the Congress umbrella".
Later in the afternoon, Mr Sidhu tweeted:
Beginning of a new inning. On the front foot........ Punjab, Punjabiyat & every Punjabi must win !!! pic.twitter.com/up0WzzoaxJ— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) January 15, 2017
Mr Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur has already been fielded as a candidate, but the constituency is yet to be decided.
Regarding Mr Sidhu's demand for the post of the deputy Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, the presumptive Chief Minister, said a decision will be taken by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Mr Gandhi at an "appropriate time".
The ruling Akali-BJP combine took potshots at the Congress and Mr Sidhu. Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal asked how he could join a party that "attacked the Golden Temple". He also took a dig at Amarinder Singh, tweeting:
.@capt_Amarinder please clear the air, Are you in favor of making Navjot Sidhu the face of Punjab Congress as done by Rahul Gandhi recently?— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) January 15, 2017
Mr Sidhu, who quit the BJP two months ago, had that he had been forced to give up his Amritsar parliamentary seat by the party ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who had lost. Captain Amarinder Singh, who won, has vacated the seat to lead the Congress campaign in the state.