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Yogendra Yadav’s Swaraj India enters Punjab poll fray: ‘AAP graph sliding’

Says Swaraj India and other like-minded parties will provide third alternative to people of Punjab

punjab Updated: Oct 26, 2016 21:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Swaraj Abhiyan,Yogendra yadav,Prashant Bhushan
Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav and Rajiv Godara, chairperson of the party’s Punjab poll preparatory panel, during a press conference in Chandigarh on Wednesday.(Sanjeev Sharma/HT Photo)

The Aam Aadmi Party’s graph was sliding in Punjab and it is no longer a viable third alternative for the state electorate, said Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav here on Wednesday.

Announcing the creation of a seven-member preparatory committee for the forthcoming Punjab polls, Yadav said his party would work in collaboration with the conglomerate of parties associated with suspended AAP MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi and AAP former convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur’s party among others.

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Addressing a press conference here, Yadav said: “The state needs a new political front, which is Punjab-oriented,” he said, adding that his party had no differences with the Democratic Swaraj Party created by a breakaway group of the Swaraj Abhiyan in Punjab.

“Early this year and even till a few months ago, it seemed the AAP will be able to provide the people of Punjab a robust third alternative. Though we are critical of them, we thought that it was best not to jump into the politics in Punjab and create confusion. But now the situation is different. The AAP is going the PPP (Manpreet Badal’s People’s Party of Punjab) way. The political space being vacated by the AAP will soon be filled by traditional parties. The people of Punjab are already saying that the fight is again between the Akalis and the Congress. But we will now offer the people a third alternative,” he said.

Yadav said Swaraj India was not going to be an umbrella party for other parties and organisations but will ally with anti-Badal forces. Besides Aapna Punjab Party, Dalit and kisan organisations, ex-army fronts would be part of the third force, said Yadav, adding that he was open to talks with Awaaz-e-Punjab leader Navjot Singh Sidhu.

He said the number of seats the “third force” will contest will be decided later.

A preparatory committee of seven members, including Rajiv Godara (chairperson), Samir Malhotra (convenor), Paramjeet Singh (permanent invitee), Gurbax Singh, Lovepreet, Jagdish Lal, Gurpreet Singh Mann and Jaswinder Garewal, has been formed to look into organisation building of Swaraj India in Punjab. Malhotra, who was the central zonal observer of the AAP from Amritsar, quit the party and joined Swaraj India on Wednesday.

First Published: Oct 26, 2016 21:18 IST