Difference of opinions over the inclusion of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) has started emerging just when the alliance is taking shape.
SAD Taksali is one party in touch with AAP as well as the Punjab Ekta Party (PEP) and the Lok Insaaf party (LIP). Though a part of PDA, it is still in talks with AAP. SAD Taksali president Ranjit Singh Brahmpura elaborates on the plan for PDA and possible changes in a conversation with The Indian Express. Excerpts:
You are part of PDA now but at the same time you are saying that talks with AAP are also on. Is their any possibility of AAP being included in the alliance?
Talks with AAP are still on. If the AAP becomes part of the grand alliance in Punjab, we will be able to beat the Congress and SAD-BJP 100%. Without AAP, our effect will be left to 80-90%. LIP chief Simrajeet Singh Bains is opposing the inclusion of AAP while AAP itself is against Khaira and Bains. So it is a fight of egos, but for the larger interest of Punjab, we must keep our egos aside. SAD Taksali will continue to be part of PDA but we will try to make it further stronger if AAP also becomes part of it.
BSP has put a condition of supporting Mayawati as PM candidate. What is your take on it?
PDA has no issues in supporting Mayawati, if she is declared as PM candidate by the alliance parties.
Where does PDA stands in the present scenario? Don’t you think it would divide votes in four parts, benefiting the old political parties?
PDA stands tall and we have our own vote bank. We are considering ourselves as a third front in Punjab. We are a choice before the Punjabis apart from the old parties. I don’t think votes will be divided. Our aim is to join hands with all those parties who are against Congress and SAD-BJP, the parties that looted Punjab for decades.
Though you claim to be a third front, SAD(Badal) says that neither your party nor the alliance will have any impact on them. What is your take on it?
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal and Bikramjit Singh Majithia are confused and are in panic. They are aware that we are going to make huge impact. Had they worked in interest of the party rather than family, this day would not have come.
You are being called as a B team of Congress by SAD(Badal). What’s your opinion?
We are Taksali Akalis and will remain the same. By issuing such statements, Sukhbir Badal and his party leaders are showing their panic. They are left with no ideas.