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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Lok Sabha elections 2019: AAP, Taksalis to enter into alliance in Punjab

Earlier, the Taksalis were in talks with the PDA, a conglomerate of Sukhpal Singh Khaira-led Punjabi Ekta Party, Bahajun Samaj Party, Lok Insaaf Party and Punjab Manch.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Mar 03, 2019 09:58 IST
Surjit Singh
Surjit Singh
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab AAP president and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann with SAD (Taksali) president and Khadoor Sahib MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and his son Ravinder Singh Brahmpura in Amritsar.
Punjab AAP president and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann with SAD (Taksali) president and Khadoor Sahib MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and his son Ravinder Singh Brahmpura in Amritsar.(HT FILE)
         

After parting ways with the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) due to disagreement over seat sharing, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali), a breakaway faction of the SAD, has decided to join hands with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to contest Lok Sabha polls in Punjab.

Punjab AAP president and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, along with party colleagues, met SAD (Taksali) president and Khadoor Sahib MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura at his house on Friday. “The meeting between senior leaders of both the parties lasted around two hours. We successfully held talks with the AAP for an alliance. We will meet again in two-three days to make a formal announcement,” said Brahmpura on Saturday.

His son and former Khadoor Sahib MLA Ravinder Singh Brahmpura said the Taksalis have expressed their desire to contest four seats — Khadoor Sahib, Ferozepur, Bathinda and Anandpur Sahib.

While Mann was not available for comments, leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema said both the parties have in principle agreed to enter into an alliance. The final decision, including seat sharing, will be announced soon, he said.

Earlier, the Taksalis were in talks with the PDA, a conglomerate of Sukhpal Singh Khaira-led Punjabi Ekta Party, Bahajun Samaj Party, Lok Insaaf Party and Punjab Manch. But differences emerged as the Taksalis wanted to field former deputy speaker Bir Devinder Singh from the Anandpur Sahib seat, while the PDA insisted to give the seat to the BSP.

When questioned that the AAP has already announced Narinder Singh Shergill as its candidate from Anandpur Sahib seat, Brahmpura’s son said: “Cheema has assured us that the AAP can withdraw its candidate from any seat if need arises. I hope the Anandpur Sahib seat would not be a hurdle in the alliance.”

Earlier, the January 10 talks between Mann and Brahmpura failed as the Taksalis wanted to join hands with the PDA.

The PDA has already decided to field candidates on nine of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab. The BSP will contest Anandpur Sahib, Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur seats, Punjab Ekta Party Bathinda and Fardikot, Lok Insaaf Party Ludhiana, Amritsar and Fatehgarh Sahib and suspended AAP MP Dharamvira Gandhi’s Punjab Manch will contest Patiala.

Kharar MLA opposes tie-up

Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu on Saturday opposed the proposed poll alliance between the AAP and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali) for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Sandhu, who was suspended by the AAP from its primary membership four months ago for “anti-party” activities, urged AAP leaders to oppose the move. “How can @AAPPunjab which swears by secularism think of forging an alliance with a Panthic outfit like akali dal taksali? All those in Punjab committed to @AAP ideology must oppose the decision of self serving leaders who are doing this (sic),” he tweeted.

The Kharar MLA also asked Punjab AAP chief Bhagwant Mann and leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema if the AAP would also align with SAD (Taksali) when they contest the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) polls. “Can there be an alliance between parties which work on different ideologies?” he posted on Twitter.

In November 2018, Sandhu and Bholath MLA Sukhpal Khaira were suspended from the AAP for continuously attacking the party leadership. Khaira has formed his separate Punjabi Ekta Party and was in talks with the SAD (Taksali), set up by a breakaway faction of the Akali Dal, for a poll tie-up until last week.

First Published: Mar 03, 2019 00:06 IST

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