The merger with the Congress on Friday hasn’t gone down well with the second-rung leadership of the People’s Party of Punjab (PPP).
Many known faces of the PPP, including secretary general Gurpreet Singh Bhatti from Fatehgarh Sahib, senior vice-president and chief spokesperson Dr Navjot Dahiya from Jalandhar and Kapurthala district president Gurpreet Raja boycotted the merger function organised by the Congress in Delhi and have kept their options open.
When asked, Dahiya made it clear that have not joined the Congress and kept their options open.
“All of us are not professional politicians who can fit into any party. We had joined PPP as we thought it was on a mission to change Punjab. Let’s see what future has in store for us,” Bhatti told HT.
Apart from these leaders, many others, who stood by Manpreet Singh Badal ever since he floated the party in 2011, admit that they are not happy with the PPP chief’s decision to go for a merger with the Congress.
“Things were not clear to us. We had asked for respectful and honourable entry of all workers, who faced wrath of the SAD-BJP government for supporting Manpreet, into Congress. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen as the decision was taken in haste,” said a leader.
Source said when Manpreet held meeting with his party workers in Chandigarh on Thursday, these leaders had raised concern over the future of workers.
Though Bhatti, Dahiya and Raja were present in Delhi and were planning to join the Congress along with Manpreet, they backed out at the eleventh hour.
Sources said these leaders also didn’t attend the welcome tea party organised by Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Captain Amarinder Singh at his residence in New Delhi.