Patiala MP Dharamvira Gandhi will be holding a round-table conference of eminent ‘pro-Punjab’ personalities, leaders and activists in Chandigarh on Sunday to decide the course of action for forming a fourth front to contest Punjab elections.
Gandhi, suspended from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), had announced to form a fourth front to take on the Akali Dal-BJP, Congress and the AAP, at a press conference on August 23, weeks before cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu floated his forum, Awaaz-e-Punjab , along with suspended SAD legislator Pargat Singh and independent MLAs Simarjeet Bains and Balwinder Bains of Ludhiana.
After the formal announcement of Awaaz-e-Punjab on September 8, Pargat and rebel AAP leader Sucha Singh Chhotepur had met Gandhi in Patiala to seek his support. Gandhi had agreed to support the forum, if its leaders agreed to a common vision document — Pro-Punjab Perspective — and agreed on a minimum understanding on issues confronting Punjab such as drug abuse, farm suicides, unemployment and economy.
But this week’s announcement by Sidhu of not forming a party and aligning with those willing to break the ‘Badal-Amarinder nexus’ had put a question mark on the future of the fourth front. Other than Chhotepur, Bains brothers and Pargat Singh, political outfits such as Democratic Swaraj Party, Apna Punjab, Jai Jawan Jai Kisan Party and the Swabhiman Party, who had earlier joined hands with Gandhi on August 23, too, will be present.
Chhotepur said he will be represented by his close aide Hardeep Kingra. Simarjeet Bains said they have got the invite from Gandhi but they have yet to decide on whether to attend it. Pargat said he would be attending the meeting but would only hear out what other leaders have to say. “I will leave for Delhi after stopping over at Chandigarh for a short while,” Pargat added. Gandhi will announce the allies of the fourth front at a press conference after the round-table meet.