WITH AAP UNWILLING TO TAKE PEP AND BAINS ALONG, IT IS LIKELY IMPOSSIBLE TO JOIN HANDS WITH SAD (TAKSALI) AND BSP
Wi n n i n g four seats in 2014 Lok Sabha polls and all from Punjab only, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hopes that the state may bless it again in the upcoming polls, conceivably ignoring the fact that its organisational structure is now crumbling pathetically. With half of its MPs already on the warpath, the party, which was hoping of 100 seats in 2017 Vidhan Sabha polls could not even cross 20 mark, subsequently failed to keep the poor flock together as it witnessed a parallel split. Though Kejriwal-led outfit still claims that the cadre is with the “broom”, the way rebel Sukhpal Singh Khaira-led Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP) is causing erosion in the AAP base can’t be ignored. As the politics is a game of calculations and Khaira keeping the understanding of the same for contesting the polls many times was quick to shake hands with Ranjit Singh Brahmpuraled Akali Dal’s rebel group— SAD (Taksali) and also with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Already enjoying the support of Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) leaders Bains brother of Ludhiana, he also took along the “sacked” AAP MPs and played a key role in the formation of Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA). The AAP, which was much ‘upfront’ in declining the proposal of alliance with anyone, has now started looking for the political partners in Punjab to contest the Lok Sabha polls 2019.
No doubt, just like AAP, the SAD (Taksali) and the BSP also want to come on the same chapter to take on the traditional rivals— the Congress and the SAD-BJP alliance, but the dream of the trio does seem to get matured as they all have their own conditions. Immediately after his “coronation”, the state chief of AAP Bhagwant Mann claimed that the SAD (Taksali) was holding its base in Majha and the BSP in Doaba, with a firm mention that the AAP was comfortable in Malwa, he went on stating that the efforts were on for the trio to contest jointly. However, the BSP state president Rashpal Singh Raju has recently declared that his party’s talks of an alliance with the AAP in Punjab were over. The same way, the SAD (Taksali) has also turned away from joining the AAP as the latter put the condition that PEP founder Sukhpal Singh Khaira and LIP MLAs Bains brothers (Simarjit and Balwinder) should not be part of the tie-up. Amid this, Bargari Morcha leaders (some hardliners) including the SAD (A) president Simranjit Singh Mann and United Akali Dal leaders like Gurdeep Singh Bathinda have also announced to contest the Lok Sabha Polls but they too want a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) to take shape. There is no doubt that these splinter groups and the newly formed outfits need to get united if they want to compete with the two established ones—the Congress and the SAD-BJP alliance— but now with none of the two sides appearing to bow, the formation of this much hyped ‘Mahagathbandhan’ seems to be a distant dream. And if they don’t come on a common page, one can easily predict that rather than contesting for victory or defeating the traditional rival parties, these fresh groups would get confined to eat out each other’s vote share, just as the rebels have always done in the past. But, rather than jumping to the conclusion, let’s wait and watch as we all know that there are no permanent friends and foes in the politics!
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