Manpreet non-committal on pact with Congress

Chandigarh, Punjab: People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) president Manpreet Badal today appeared non-committal on an alliance with the Congress for the next Lok Sabha elections. A former Finance Minister of Punjab, Manpreet Badal was responding to a statement by newly appointed Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Partap Singh Bajwa. Bajwa had yesterday expressed his desire for having a poll truck with the PPP.

A political arrangement with the Congress will be a collective decision by various constituents of the Sanjha Morcha Manpreet Badal, ppp chief

Manpreet said his party could not take any such decision single-handedly as it was part of the Sanjha Morcha, a political alliance of like-minded outfits, including Left parties. “A political arrangement with the Congress to fight the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, if ever, will be a collective decision by various constituents of the Sanjha Morcha,” he pointed out. Wishing Bajwa success in his new assignment, Manpreet said he had taken note of the PCC chief’s offer and would consult all concerned before taking the final decision.

“Our party aims to change the present political system. For short-term gains, we are not ready to change our ideology. We are striving to achieve what Punjab could not in the last 65 years,” he said.

A tie-up with the PPP was on Bajwa’s agenda even before he took over the reins from Capt Amarinder Singh. In fact, he is learnt to have met Manpreet before the 2012 Punjab Assembly elections as well. But, no headway could be achieved then.

Reports of the possibility of an alliance between the two parties had again emerged in the run-up to the recent Moga assembly bypoll. However, things could not materialise for the second time too.

As Bajwa faces an uphill task of defeating the Akalis -— the ruling party has not lost any election in recent years — in the next Lok Sabha elections, he has been exploring all options of winning over the anti-SAD votes so as to consolidate the Congress’ position.

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