September 26, 2016 9:41:56 pm
Days after announcing that the Awaaz-e-Punjab, formed by former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, would not float a political party to contest the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, the front Monday said it will look at the prospects of forging an alliance with the Congress or the AAP, while ruling out the possibility of joining a fourth front.
The decision was taken by the front representatives at a five-hour-long meeting at Sidhu’s Delhi house last night, said Ludhiana MLA Simarjit Singh Bains who is a part of the front. Besides Sidhu, the meeting was attended by MLAs Pargat Singh and Balwinder Bains.
“We have decided to look at the possibilities in the Congress and the AAP to see which party has a strong agenda for Punjab and which can look after the state’s interests. After that, we will take a decision on forging an alliance with either of the parties to contest the Assembly polls on a common minimum agenda,” Bains told PTI.
“The common minimum agenda will be not to let the anti-incumbency votes get divided in order to stop the Badals from retaining power in Punjab,” he said. Asked when the decision in this regard will be taken, Bains replied “within a few days”, adding that Sidhu has been entrusted with the task.
He said Awaaz-e-Punjab was opposed to the idea of a “fourth front” as proposed by suspended AAP MP Dharamvira Gandhi and sacked AAP Punjab convenor Sucha Singh Chhotepur.
“The agenda of the meeting was to have a Badal-mukt (Badal-free) Punjab and not to let the anti-incumbency votes get divided, so that the Badals do not come to power again. If the Badals retain power due to the fourth front, it will be a huge loss for Punjab. “Therefore, we will appeal to Gandhi, Chhotepur and other like-minded people not to create a fourth front as it will directly benefit the Badals in the polls,” Bains said, adding that Pargat has been assigned the duty to appeal to Gandhi and Chhotepur in this regard.
Cricketer-turned-politician Sidhu, a few days back, had announced that he would not float a party to contest the Punjab polls as he did not wish to play “spoilsport” by dividing the anti-incumbency votes. The former BJP MP had said they had decided against forming a political party as there was not enough time to prepare for the polls, but had added that they were “open to alliance” for the “betterment of Punjab”.
“The forum welcomes any alliance for the betterment of Punjab and will not be a political party. May Punjab, Punjabiyat and every Punjabi win,” he had said.
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