AAP, Dhindsas hold talks to join hands for 2022 Punjab assembly elections

SAD (Democratic) chief Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, his son and former finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa say alliance in offing, but Punjab AAP leader Harpal Cheema insists merger on cards
Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic) president Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and his son Parminder Singh Dhindsa met Aam Aadmi Party Punjab affairs co-incharge Raghav Chadha (right) in Chandigarh recently. Punjab AAP chief Bhagwant Mann and leader of the opposition Harpal Cheema are also seen. (HT file photo)
Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic) president Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and his son Parminder Singh Dhindsa met Aam Aadmi Party Punjab affairs co-incharge Raghav Chadha (right) in Chandigarh recently. Punjab AAP chief Bhagwant Mann and leader of the opposition Harpal Cheema are also seen. (HT file photo)
Updated on Apr 08, 2021 04:20 PM IST
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ByNavneet Sharma and Avtar Singh

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic) are holding talks to join hands for the 2022 assembly elections in Punjab.

SAD (Democratic) president and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and his son and former finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa met AAP Punjab affairs co-incharge Raghav Chadha in Chandigarh three days ago.

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AAP MLA and leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema and Dhindsa Junior confirmed the meeting.

Both parties evinced interest in working together to take on the ruling Congress, Akalis and the BJP, but are still to work out alliance modalities.

Parminder Dhindsa said they held talks with senior AAP leaders to form an alliance. “There was a discussion on the political scenario and consensus that the aim of both parties is similar. This was a preliminary meeting. We will discuss the details in subsequent meetings. The idea is to build a wider front of like-minded parties,” the Lehra MLA said, sounding optimistic about an alliance with the principal opposition party.

However, Cheema said the talks with Dhindsa were positive, but these were not about an alliance between the two parties. “The AAP will not form an alliance with the SAD (Democratic). We will go it alone in the elections. There was a discussion about Dhindsas joining the AAP. Sukhdev Dhindsa ji was affirmative. You will see them joining the party soon,” he said.

He said both the AAP and the SAD (Democratic) are working to save Punjab and will come together on a common platform to raise the voice of the people and hold the Congress government accountable. The father-son duo was among the important leaders of the Akali Dal, but rebelled against the Badals. They were expelled from the SAD in February 2020. Though the AAP is insisting on going it alone, the party had contested the 2017 state elections in alliance with the Lok Insaaf Party (LIP), which was given five seats, of which it won two.

In 2018, the LIP broke the alliance in the wake of AAP national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to a SAD leader in a defamation case.

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Saturday, November 27, 2021