Open to alliances with  similar parties: Amarinder

Says people of Punjab were disillusioned by the ruling Akalis and unimpressed with AAP

Chandigarh : Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh today said that his party was open to forge an alliance with “like-minded secular parties” for the 2017 assembly polls.

Addressing his maiden press conference here after taking over as state unit chief two days ago, Singh noted that the people of Punjab were “disillusioned” by the ruling Akalis and felt that AAP had “neither a face nor any policy” in the state.

“I hope they (like-minded parties) will also understand that it is the question of Punjab’s future and let us not make demands which other parties cannot meet,” Amarinder Singh Punjab Congress chief

The Congress leader said that the party was very much open to alliances with like-minded parties, particularly the CPI and CPM, the People’s Party of Punjab and the Bahujan Samaj Party.

He disclosed that he had spoken to the CPM leaders and PPP chief Manpreet Singh Badal over the matter.

He hoped that the BSP will also be positively inclined towards the idea.

On being asked whether the said alliance was on the lines of the grand alliance of Bihar, Singh said, “Let me make it clear people are totally disillusioned with the Akalis and they are well aware about AAP’s capabilities… We will talk to all secular forces… But the entire thing will rest on whether we can meet their demand (of seat adjustment).

“I hope they (like-minded parties) will also understand that it is the question of Punjab’s future and let us not make demands which other parties cannot meet,” he said.

The leader said neither AAP nor SAD posed any challenge to the Congress in the state.

At the same time, it does not mean the party will lower its guard in any way after the grand success of the Bathinda rally.

The former Punjab Chief Minister said that AAP was unlikely to reap electoral gains in the 2017 Assembly elections, as the situation has changed from that of 2014, when AAP made healthy gains in the state.

He admitted that NRIs may have tilted towards AAP last year in Punjab, but “they are convinced this time that Congress should form the government.”

“We will be touring Australia and New Zealand soon. And in the summer, we will go to the US, Canada and UK and then Germany, Italy and other European countries will be covered. When we will convince them (NRIs), I think they will agree that AAP is not a solution. AAP has no policy, they have no face in Punjab,” he said.

The state Congress chief launched a scathing attack on AAP’s comedian-turned MP from Sangrur Bhagwant Mann.

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