The Punjab Congress leadership is digging its heels on the contentious issue of alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party in the state for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.
A day after the INDIA bloc decided to work out the seat-sharing formula among the coalition partners at the state level, Punjab Congress leaders on Thursday said sentiments of workers at the grassroots level were strongly against any such alliance with AAP.
Continued political vendetta was evident from the recent statements by CM Bhagwant Mann against PPCC chief Amarinder Raja Warring on the roadways buses fabrication and vigilance complaint against Deputy Leader of the Opposition Raj Kumar Chabbewal, they said.
Anxiety has gripped the state leaders as the line of action by the state unit is being seen as defiance of the party high command.
Warring said the state unit had not got any communication in this regard. “We have been asked to prepare for all 13 Lok Sabha seats. How can I comment on something that is yet to happen?”.
Party leaders admit that seat sharing was a contentious issue in case of Punjab, West Bengal and Kerala. “As the Assembly polls are to be held in Rajathan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pardesh, Telangana and Mizoram, the Congress leadership is taking calculative steps so that its winning prospects are not affected. Things will be clear by January next year,” said a CWC member from Punjab.
Already the voice of dissent against the alliance has surfaced in a party meeting. Three former Cabinet ministers have threatened to resign from party if the alliance for Punjab happened. Sitting MLAs, a former MLA and district unit presidents have taken a unanimous decision, authorising Warring and Leader of the Opposition Partap Bajwa to convey to the party high command in strong words their dissent to the alliance. Bajwa and Warring are scheduled to meet the high command during the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting to be held in Hyderabad on September 16-17.
Bajwa said, “They continue to poach upon our leaders. We will convey the sentiments of the leaders, workers and supporters to the party high command.”
Former Punjab Youth Congress president Barinder Dhillon also spoke against the projected alliance.