Former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh is once again the flavour of the party for 2017 Assembly elections in Punjab. The party, hoping to wrest power in Punjab after remaining in opposition for last 10 years, is depending on Dr Singh’s advice to give final touches to party’s manifesto for Punjab elections. Not just that, the party would also utilise his Sikh face to release the manifesto.
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Dr Singh, who was referred to as a “Prime Minister who was soft on corrupt ministers” by none other than the Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh soon after party’s rout in 2014, had agreed to help the Punjab Congress manifesto committee jointly headed by former CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and former finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal. Sources in Congress said it was Amarinder who personally roped in Dr Singh for his expertise on economics.
Though the date of release of the manifesto is yet to be finalised yet, a PPCC communique said Dr Singh had agreed to launch the document, defining the party’s blueprint for governance in Punjab, at a meeting with AICC in-charge of Punjab affairs Asha Kumari and Amarinder in Delhi on Thursday. Kumari and Amarinder discussed with Dr Manmohan Singh the key points in the manifesto, which will now be given the final shape by the PPCC manifesto committee. Kumari said it had been decided by the party to take Dr Singh’s views on the manifesto draft before releasing it given his expertise on economic issues.
“The Congress does not believe in taking arbitrary decisions, without understanding the nuances of the subject, and felt it was important to involve Dr Singh in the finalisation of the manifesto, given its impact on the people of Punjab,” said Kumari. Amarinder said, “Dr Singh gave his valuable inputs on the manifesto – a comprehensive document addressing issues relating to every section of Punjab’s society.”