The Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab is actively engaged in parleys to firm up an alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. AAP’s Punjab chief Bhagwant Mann and Leader of Opposition Harpal Cheema have held talks with BSP and SAD (Taksali) to find a way ahead.
Bhagwant Mann, who was in Sangrur Saturday, said,”BSP is a national party and hence our high command has given us a go ahead to do alliance with them if both parties are on the same page. Our talks are on with them and even we are in conversation with SAD (Taksali) — a political party floated by Khadoor Sahib MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura.”
AAP, meanwhile, is not keen on forming an alliance with Sukhpal Khaira’s Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP) and Simarjeet Bains led Lok Insaaf Party (LIP). Both these parties have announced the formation of Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) along with the BSP and SAD (Taksali). The PDA has already concluded talks for half seats, and is now engaged in discussions for the remaining.
About the ongoing discussions, Brahmpura said,”We had a fresh round of talks for the rest of 50 per cent seats, but could not finalise anything due to difference of opinion. We will have another sitting.” When asked if talks with AAP were also on, he said,”Yes, talks are on, but there are not getting any headway. Even here, we are yet to make final decision on seats. Otherwise, we don’t have any ideology difference.”
About AAP’s reservations over Khaira and LIP, he added: “Let us see as how things shape up. As of now just talks are happening and we have time ahead to decide.”
Sources revealed that SAD (Taksali) is seeking a larger share in seats in PDA due to which repeated meetings for the rest 50 per cent seats are ending inconclusively. At the same time Taksalis have also kept their option for AAP open. Harpal Singh Cheema while talking to The Indian Express added,”We spoke with the BSP on Saturday itself and hence our talks are on with like minded parties.”
Interestingly, AAP had never tried for any alliance in the past. Brahmpura said,”When AAP is trying for an alliance, it seems that they are not confident on their own. Let’s see how the talks go.”