Chandigarh: After Manpreet Badal-led Peoples’ Party of Punjab, splinter Akali group Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal) today announced its unconditional support to the Congress in Punjab in the Lok Sabha elections.
SAD(L) Secretary General Baldev Singh Mann made the announcement in the presence of Punjab Congress President Partap Singh Bajwa, former Punjab Chief Minister Surjeet Singh Barnala, his wife Surjeet Kaur Barnala, who is also the SAD(L) chief and his son Gaganjit Barnala.
The decision to support the party came after Surjeet Singh Barnala met Congress President Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi this week where he pledged support to the party in the LS polls.
Mann said that the SAD (L) has decided to support Congress as it wants to keep communal forces like BJP at bay.
“Political atmosphere in country has heated up because of highly communal polarisation tactics being promulgated by BJP and its allies with sole purpose of taking advantage in Lok Sabha elections, not caring about detrimental effect it will have on social and political fabric of the country.
“This disharmonious disposition poses a great challenge to all right thinking people of the country and calls for them to unite and blunt this evil propaganda. Considering the grave political situation, SAD (L) has decided to have an alliance with Congress party in coming Lok Sabha elections,” said Mann.
Asked if Congress would share any seat with SAD (L) in the elections post alliance, Bajwa said that the party had announced unconditional support to Congress in the general elections.
“The party has decided to support Congress without any condition and its main intention is to keep communal forces at bay and end mafia raj in Punjab,” he said.
Asked if there was any understanding on Assembly seats with SAD (L), Bajwa said, “I was part of the meeting which happened with Congress President. There is no agreement in this regard (seat sharing). They (SAD-L) have said that they will support Congress candidates in elections.”
Bajwa said the party would have the biggest advantage of having SAD (L) on their from Sangrur Lok Sabha seat, from where Barnala belongs.
SAD (L) and PPP were the constituents of ‘Sanjha Morcha’, which was floated before 2012 assembly elections. Others include CPI, and CPI(M), which left the Morcha after Manpreet Badal joined hands with Congress.