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AAP has lost people’s support, Congress needs no ally in Punjab: Capt Amarinder

The CM underlined that he has not at any stage said he was open to an alliance between the two parties.

punjab Updated: Jul 24, 2018 21:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab news,Captain Amarinder Singh,Aam Aadmi Party
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said the Congress in Punjab does not need any ally for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as the party will “win hands down, on its own”.

In a press statement, apparently in light of reports of a possible alliance between the Congress and the state’s main opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the CM claimed that public sentiment shows the Congress does not require any ally for the parliamentary elections here as it won the recent bypolls in Gurdaspur (Lok Sabha segment) and Shahkot (assembly segment) with significant margins. About the AAP, he said it has lost support of the people of Punjab “completely”. He underlined that he has not at any stage said he was open to an alliance between the two parties.

He also, however, reiterated that the final decision on pre-poll alliances has to be taken by the Congress high command, and its decision will be accepted and followed by all the state units, be it in Punjab or elsewhere. “Alliances are the prerogative of the national party, and they will take a decision at a suitable time,” he said, adding, “Several factors, including winnability, are usually taken into account by the party before going in for an alliance.”

“As far as the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) is concerned, it will share its views with the party high command as and when the latter seeks the same,” he said, adding that, as in the past, the national leadership of the party will take into account the ground situation in every state and the opinion of the state unit before taking a final decision. The PPCC will also be internally discussing the issue to build a consensus on the matter, he further said.

Of the 13 LS seats in Punjab, Congress and AAP currently have four seats each, as does the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), while Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) holds one. Two of the AAP’s MPs, though, have rebelled and all but formally severed ties with the party.

In last year’s assembly polls, after being considered a frontrunner by many pundits, AAP finished a distant second with 20 of 117 seats as the Congress won 77.

First Published: Jul 24, 2018 20:05 IST