With an eye on the space created for a fourth front, ousted AAP leader Sucha Singh Chhotepur is preparing to float a Progressive Punjab Alliance (PPA) to take on his former collegues. With the exercise of distributing tickets out of the way, Chhotepur, who is likely to announce his independent political party, Apna Punjab Party (APP) on October 1, is eyeing to target “disillusioned” leaders of other parties.
In a bid to stitch up the front together, Chhotepur is learnt to have met another rebel leader of the AAP Dr Dharamvir Gandhi Tuesday and deliberated on the vision document of the alliance. Sources close to Chhotepur said that if all goes well, the alliance with take shape soon after announcement of his party. Dr Gandhi too has been working to form a similar front, but till now his outfit has failed to get any positive response.
“The alliance would aim at contesting all 117 seats, with support from “dejected” leaders from all the parties,” said Col JS Gill, (retd) a close aide of Chhotepur and former member of media team of AAP. The front would basically follow the ideology similar to that of AAP and is planning to take on board the leaders with high integrity. “Our emphasis will be on regionalism. Our focus will be only on Punjab and we will try to make it a springboard for a Pan India party where its national convener aims at becoming the Prime Minister,” said Col Gill.
He added their doors is open for all leaders, cutting across party lines and castes and faiths. “All the cadre-based parties would be ignoring their good people. We will invite them to join us. That is why we are forming an alliance. In an alliance, all parties and individuals come together for a common cause without leaving their identity.”
The AAP, however, chose to distance itself from several leaders, considered close to Chhotepur, including a founding member of the party, Pavittar Singh. In a statement released here, an AAP spokesperson said the party has nothing to do with the activities of Member of the National Council of AAP Pavitar Singh, Member of State Media Team Col JS Gill, Circle In-charge Jagatar Singh, member of Women Wing Lakhwinder Kaur, Harpal Singh of NRI Cell, Dr Amandeep Singh Bains, Baljit Singh Chahal, Colonel Dalwinder Singh Grewal and Amandeep Singh Boparai. The party, however, maintained silence on the status of Chhotepur, who claimed to have sent his resignation by post to AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal on September 16.