If all goes well for Manpreet Badal, he wishes to have an alliance between the presently headless People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) and the Congress in the 2017 Punjab assembly elections.
For Manpreet, the PPP would continue to exist in times to come, irrespective of the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab, specifically in Bathinda where he is contesting as the Congress candidate on its ‘hand’ symbol.
If he becomes the Congress MP after wresting the Bathinda seat from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the PPP would still exist. Manpreet has been stressing that he did not attain the primary membership of the Congress to get the party’s symbol for this election.
In case Manpreet loses, coming out of the Congress camp he has the PPP to head, but the situation for him could be strange in case he is elected and eventually becomes the Congress MP.
The PPP cadres could hardly be recognised around him, except for Gurpreet Bhatti, during his ongoing campaign in Bathinda, where he is always surrounded by the Congress MLAs and ex-MLAs.
Congress MLAs Ajaib Singh Bhatti and Ajit Inder Singh Mofar and former legislators, including Makhan Singh and Jasminder Jassi, have been organising Manpreet’s campaign, appealing to the local Congress cadres to put up a show of strength at his public meetings.
Makhan Singh, when asked about the possibility of a Congress-PPP alliance for the 2017 polls, said, “The PPP has been merged into the Congress.”
When told about Manpreet’s assertions that the PPP still prevails and the joint candidate desired for the said alliance in 2017, Makhan was taken aback, saying, “This will surely give a boost to all the secular forces against the Akali-BJP combine.”