Open to ally with like-minded parties in Punjab: Amarinder
Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Thursday said that his party was open to forge an alliance with “like-minded secular parties” for the 2017 assembly polls.
Addressing his maiden press conference after taking over as state unit chief two days ago, Singh noted that the people of Punjab were “disillusioned” by the ruling Akalis and felt that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had “neither a face nor any policy” in the state.
The Congress leader said that the party was very much open to alliance with like minded parties, particularly with the CPI, the CPM, the People’s Party of Punjab and the Bahujan Samaj Party.
He disclosed that he had spoken to the CPM leaders and PPP chief Manpreet Singh Badal over the matter. He is hoping that the BSP will also be positively inclined towards the idea.
On being asked whether the said alliance was in the lines of the grand alliance of Bihar, Singh said, “Let me make it clear that people are disillusioned with the Akalis and they are aware of AAP’s capabilities..We will talk to all secular forces...But the entire thing will rest on whether we can meet their demand (of seat adjustment).
“I hope they (like-minded parties) will also understand that it is the question of Punjab’s future and let us not make demands, which other parties cannot meet,” he said.
The leader said neither AAP nor SAD posed any challenge to the Congress in the state. At the same time, it does not mean the party will lower its guard after the grand success of the Bathinda rally.
The former Punjab Chief Minister said that AAP was unlikely to reap electoral gains in the 2017 Assembly elections, as the situation has changed from that of 2014, when AAP made healthy gains in the state.
He admitted that NRIs may have tilted towards AAP, last year in Punjab, but “they are convinced this time that Congress should form the government.”
“We will be touring Australia and New Zealand soon. And in summer, we will go to US, Canada and UK and then to Germany, Italy and other European countries. When we will convince them (NRIs), I think they will agree that AAP is not a solution. AAP has no policy, they have no face in Punjab,” he said.
The state Congress chief launched a scathing attack on AAP’s comedian-turned MP from Sangrur, Bhagwant Mann.
“No matter how many jokes he cracks, can he run the government. Today, the law and order situation in Punjab is bad...industry, agriculture, jobs, economy are in a bad shape. Can Mr Bhagwant Mann deliver, you have to think. This is what we will be telling NRIs and I am sure they will agree,” he said.
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