People's Party of Punjab (PPP) was contesting municipal corporation polls in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala and Ludhiana not to win seats but to create and consolidate its vote bank by sharing its "vision of Punjab with the voters", PPP chief Manpreet Singh Badal said on Thursday.
Addressing a press conference here, Manpreet said that winning seats was not as important as creating a vote bank for his party. Through such elections, the PPP's viewpoint, its ideology, policies and programmes would be made known to the public, he added.
The Sanjha Morcha, of which the PPP is a constituent, is contesting 27 of the 65 seats in the Amritsar MC. While the PPP is contesting 12 of these seats, the CPI and CPM are contesting the remaining ones. All PPP candidates have been listed as Independents but have been allotted the symbol 'kite'.
Manpreet, who chaired a meeting of the party office-bearers of Amritsar district, maintained that the PPP would continue to exist as part of the Sanjha Morcha. Asked whether the PPP would enter into an electoral alliance with the Congress in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he clarified that there was no such plan; in the same breath, he denied the reports of his joining the Congress.
Asked to comment on revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia's statement that the PPP would cease to exist, Manpreet said only a person like Majithia could indulge in such talk as he "practises ego, while we stand for certain principles".
On the economy of the state, he said that as long as "thanedari raj" existed in Punjab, there would be no progress. The state, according to a latest report, was among the five slowest growing states in the country, he added.
"No industry is coming here. In fact, the industrialists from Punjab are expanding their businesses in other states. You have no areas earmarked for the industry and in such a scenario you expect an entrepreneur to go to a property dealer to buy land for setting up a unit," he added.
On the construction of the 'shaheedi memorial' by the SGPC in the Golden Temple complex, he felt whenever the government wanted to divert the attention of the public from more serious issues it raked up such issues. The state was sliding down and the government must focus on that, the PPP leader added.
Manpreet said the PPP was in the process of re-organising its party structure. In July, the first party conference would be held in which eminent persons in different fields would be invited to speak, he added.