Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is likely to meet AICC president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Monday to discuss an alliance with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the Lok Sabha election.
Amarinder left for Delhi on Sunday itself. Congress sources told the Indian Express that while Punjab unit of the party was not in favour of any alliance with AAP, as several leaders feel that AAP was no more a force to reckon with in the state, the high command is interested in an alliance with the AAP in Delhi considering its groundswell in the national capital. Hence, there was pressure from AAP leadership for a truck with Congress in Punjab also.
Sources said the state unit and the Punjab CM were in no mood to have an alliance with AAP and the CM would convey the sentiments of the state unit to the party chief during the meeting.
“But since it appears that Congress and AAP would come together in Delhi, the state unit may be asked to leave a seat for AAP in Punjab,” said a senior party leader. He added that it that may be the case, then Congress would leave Sangrur to AAP. Bhagwant Mann is sitting AAP MP from Sangrur. The Congress has former MLA and planning board vice chairperson Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and former MLA Kewal Dhillon as aspirants for the ticket. But in case of a truck with AAP, Sangrur seat would be left to the party.
“Although we feel that the AAP is finished in Punjab. Leaving a seat for them would only amount to giving them a fresh lease of life. The CM is going to tell Rahul this. Rest depends on the high command. If the party feels that by leaving a seat for AAP in Punjab can help the party on several seats in Delhi and help in the overall rally in the end, it would be a strong enough political reason for the Congress to consider. Let us see,” said a Congress leader.
Amarinder and Rahul are also set to discuss all the 13 Lok Sabha seats and the aspirants. “The party wants to be ready with the list of candidates as soon as the Lok Sabha elections are announced. We do not want to delay and pay up later. Hence, most of the names are likely to be discussed,” added the leader.
Also, a source said the discussion on chairpersons of Zila Parishads, elections to which were held recently, is also in the offing. “Many ministers and party leaders kin won the ZP elections. They want them to be nominated the chairpersons now. It will be a political decision to be taken by Rahul and Amarinder,” said a leader.
The CM is also likely to get Rahul’s stamp on chairpersons of boards and corporations. Several MLAs have been waiting for these posts ever since the government passed the Office of Profit Act. Amarinder had taken the list last time also but Rahul had asked it to hold it till elections in other states.