July 25, 2021 7:52:34 pm
A potential electoral tie-up between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Samyukt) has once again run into rough weather, with the state co in-charge of the AAP, Raghav Chadha, on Sunday denying any alliance between the two parties.
The SAD (Samyukt) was quick to react and call Chadha’s statement “politically immature”.
Earlier, in April too, the AAP leadership had contradicted former Punjab finance minister, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, when he had stated that talks between both the parties had taken place in Chandigarh for a potential tie-up for the 2022 Punjab polls.
There have been consistent rumours about both the parties discussing a potential electoral tie-up, along with an alliance between the SAD and left parties in Punjab. On Sunday, a fresh round of rumours stated that an alliance deal between the AAP and the SAD (Samyukt) had been finalised and that 20 seats were to be given by AAP to its electoral partner for the 2022 polls.
However, Raghav Chadha denied any reports of a tie-up, stating in a tweet, “In my capacity as the AAP co in-charge I want to make it clear that neither has any decision been taken to enter into an alliance with SAD (Samyukt) nor any talks are being held in this regard”.
Later, speaking to The Indian Express, senior SAD (Samyukt) leader, Bir Devinder Singh, however, said that his party was not begging for an alliance with the AAP. “I think it [Chadha’s statement] was very politically immature. There was no official statement from our party on any tie-up and the AAP leader has reacted to a news item carried by a television channel,” he said.
Bir Devinder went on to say that a grand alliance of various parties in Punjab was the need of the hour in order to upstage the SAD and the Congress. ‘If their party (the AAP) is serious about replacing the two established parties of Punjab then they have to seriously consider the same. In any case we are not begging for an alliance. We are an independent party and we decide our own course of action,” he said.
The denial issued by Chadha notwithstanding, another senior SAD (Samyukt) leader told The Indian Express that talks had indeed been held at a very senior level between his party and the AAP. ” In April, Parminder Dhindsa, had queered the pitch by prematurely revealing the proposed tie-up between the two parties and for this, he was also reprimanded by the party. However, now the talks have been taking place at a much senior level than the Punjab leadership of the AAP and soon a decision regarding a tie-up will be announced will be taken,” the leader said.
However, senior AAP leaders denied that any such talks had been held at all. “When a senior party person like Raghav Chadha has issued a denial, then there is no reason for us to comment on the issue,” said a Punjab AAP leader when asked about the developments.
Sources within the SAD (Samyukt) say that the party has held hectic talks in the recent past with the Left parties in Punjab too to arrive at an understanding with them with regard to the 2022 polls. “This is essential because many farmers’ unions are Left-oriented and these parties carry a lot of influence. The farmers will never enter into an agreement with the Akalis or the Congress for obvious reasons that these two parties have allowed the farm laws to come into being. “Therefore it is essential to bring the Left parties on-board too,” said a senior SAD (Samyukt) leader, who did not want to be named.
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