April 18, 2021 11:00:25 am
Despite initial hiccups following conflicting statements emanating from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and SAD (Democratic), the proposed alliance between the two parties along with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is still very much on the cards.
Earlier this month the talks over the proposed alliance had hit a stumbling block after AAP leaders, Punjab co-incharge Raghav Chadha and Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema, issued a statement saying that there could no alliance between the two parties and that SAD (D) leaders will have to join AAP.
While no AAP or SAD (D) leader was willing to speak on record about the developments after this statement, yet speaking on condition of anonymity leaders of both the parties said that the alliance is very much on the cards and that the talks will be held again on the issue.
“It was the AAP leaders who had taken the initiative to begin with and approached Parminder Singh Dhindsa for a meeting in Chandigarh at a neutral venue. This meeting was attended by the AAP’s Raghav Chadha and Jarnail Singh. In the course of the meeting, Chadha spoke to Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa too and invited him to the meeting and he also came over,” said a senior SAD (D) leader.
It is also learnt that Sukhdev Dhindsa inquired from the two Delhi leaders whether they had taken the Punjab leadership in confidence about the talks and was assured that everyone was on board. “However, after Parminder Dhindsa briefed the media about the talks, there was very unexpected reaction from the AAP and it seemed as if there was some internal resistance to the talks, which had been held by Chadha and Jarnail Singh following which a terse statement was issued about SAD(D) leaders joining AAP,” the senior leader informed.
However, it is learnt that the Delhi leadership of AAP has stepped into the matter and counselled everyone involved to exercise patience. “The possibility of an alliance is still very much on the cards. However, SAD (D) has decided that instead of one or two persons conducting parleys for the alliance, a committee should be constituted which would conduct talks with like minded parties and then submit its recommendations to the president of the party,” a senior SAD(D) leader said.
The SAD (D) leaders said that joining AAP would have meant that the party would have thrown away the advantages it enjoys in the panthic polity and given a free hand to the Badals. “This is totally inconceivable. We can never vacate the panthic space for the Badals. And all said and done, Sukhdev Dhindsa enjoys a very prominent position in the Malwa region and can influence the outcome of the elections at many constituencies. This advantage can never be surrendered nor would it be of advantage to AAP in case we did so,” a leader said.
Leaders of both the parties say that a tie-up with BSP would further strengthen the alliance given the fact that the party held a strong presence in Doaba region and could influence several seats in conjunction with the other two parties. “In Sangrur, Mansa, Barnala and Bathinda areas, SAD (D) can help AAP candidates win their seats and we will have no problem in accepting the candidature of all sitting AAP MLAs re-contesting from their respective constituencies,” a senior leader said.
A further alliance with SAD (Taksali), led by veteran leader Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, is expected to cement the position of the alliance in the Majha region where certain key constituencies may see an upheaval due to unrest against the Badals within the party. “AAP is not very strong in Majha and we can help the alliance get crucial seats in certain constituencies of Tarn Taran like Valtoha, Patti, Khem Karan, Khadoor sahib etc,” said a leader.
The Dhindsas had earlier said that other like-minded parties and individuals like former Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi would also be welcome to join the fourth front.
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