Rebels, expelled, new-comers to form Mahagathbandhan to take on Congress, SAD

These old guard leaders' contemporaries of former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had raised a banner of revolt against SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Published: 12th January 2019 04:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th January 2019 04:36 PM   |  A+A-

2019-Lok-Sabha-elections

2019 Lok Sabha polls (Illustration | Amit Bandre)

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: The newly formed political parties, Punjabi Ekta Party, Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali) besides other fringe groups are trying to form a Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) in Punjab and there is a possibility of their joining hands, thus the ensuing forthcoming Lok Sabha elections are expected to be a cliff-hanger.

Few days after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Member of Parliament from Sangrur Bhagwant Mann met SAD (Taksali) leaders to form an alliance with them and on Friday Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP) President Sukhpal Khaira who parted ways from AAP and formed his own party also held meeting with Ranjit Singh Brahmpief of SAD (Taksali) as this party was also recently formed by the rebel leaders of Shiromani Akali Dal.

These old guard leaders' contemporaries of former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had raised a banner of revolt against SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal. The meeting was held apparently to discuss the poll prospects of an alliance between PEP and SAD (Taksali) ahead of Lok Sabha elections. Earlier AAP had also offered to form an alliance with Brahmpura's party.

Ranjit Singh Brahmpura president of SAD (Taksali) said it was jointly agreed to frame a policy to oust the Congress and the SAD from the state. "We already have an agenda to bring like-minded parties on one platform,'' he said. While Khaira who recently quit AAP and formed his own party did not rule out an alliance with AAP he said, "if AAP doesn't make any alliance with Congress in Delhi or Punjab we could invite it to be the part of our grand alliance.''

Last month a new political front `Punjab Democratic Alliance' (PDA) was launched by Sukhpal Khaira, Dharam Vira Gandhi who was suspended from the AAP in 2015, Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) legislators Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjeet Singh Bains and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) state president Rashpal Raju.

As LIP was an alliance partner of the AAP earlier. Khaira said that the leaders of Punjab Democratic Alliance met in Jalandhar recently and then only he had come to meet Brahmpura ow-up to the meeting. In the past, Punjab has always witnessed a one-on-one contest between the Congress and the SAD-BJP combine. It was only after 2014 Lok Sabha elections that AAP was emerged as an alternative in the state by winning four, out of the total thirteen seats. However, the party failed to keep up the momentum and finished a distant second to Congress in 2017 assembly polls with just 20 seats in 117-member assembly but became the main opposition party.

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