Will AAP, Congress tie up in Punjab? No clarity yet

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Will AAP, Congress tie up in Punjab? No clarity yet

Chandigarh: Days after AAP leader and Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema announced that his party would contest the upcoming parliamentary polls in the state in alliance with the Congress “to save the country”, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) leaders today opposed any such coalition with the ruling party.

Of the 13 parliamentary seats in the state, besides that of the UT, Chandigarh, six are represented by Congress Members of Parliament.

During a meeting of senior Congress leaders at Punjab Congress Bhavan, a number of those present, including three former ministers, raised their hands to oppose alliance with AAP. It was pointed out such a coalition would only result in revival of the Akali Dal, and that Congress workers were against the move. PPCC chief Raja Warring and Leader of Opposition Partap Bajwa were asked to take up the case with the high command on the sidelines of the upcoming CWC meeting in Hyderabad on September 16. However, some party leaders said not all were opposed to the idea.

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The development assumes significance as both parties are part of the INDIA bloc forged to challenge the BJP at the national level. The Opposition bloc had last week resolved to contest the 2024 LS polls together “as far as possible”. Differences over seat-sharing, however, may prove to be an impediment, with some of the Congress leaders eyeing certain constituencies.

Finance Minister Cheema, however, said: “The PPCC reaction does not mean anything as the national leaderships of both parties have decided to contest the elections together. Brushing aside our differences, we are fighting together to stop the BJP from succeeding in its efforts to silence the Opposition.”

The PPCC chief said as such no resolution was passed, but leaders expressed resentment to any alliance with AAP. “They have sought that their concerns be conveyed to the party high command,” he said.

Congress leaders were of the opinion that their role as the principal Opposition party would end if they went ahead with the alliance.

“We will not be able to attack the ruling party in the state, which has been our main agenda,” said the leaders.


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