The cracks between the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), partners in the newly formed Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) were on display on September 6 after a Cabinet Minister in Punjab, where the AAP is in power, ruled out any alliance with the Congress.
Punjab Tourism Minister Anmol Gagan Maan at a press conference in Chandigarh said there would be no alliance of the AAP with the Congress party in Punjab.
“...We are not going to have any alliance with the Congress, the people of Punjab love Bhagwant Mann, they have elected an honest government. We will not tolerate any kind of alliance with the Congress…In Punjab, we will contest independently and there would be no compromise. There would be no seat sharing with the Congress,” Ms. Maan said. She was responding to the question of an alliance with the Congress party for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
She said the party’s State unit had taken the decision not to have the alliance in Punjab. “...alliance at the national level is a different thing as it’s between parties to throw out the BJP’s authoritarian government... In Punjab, the political situation is different,” Ms. Maan said.
Interestingly, her remark came days after Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema had spoken in favour of the alliance, stating that the INDIA bloc’s objective was very significant, and in the bid to achieve it, “small differences must be kept apart”.
On the other hand, while several senior leaders of the Congress’s Punjab unit continue to be critical of any alliance in Punjab with the AAP, Congress’s former president Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday said the decision of the party high command would be supreme.
Several leaders of the Congress’s Punjab unit have been opposing the alliance with the AAP, pointing out to the party’s high command that the AAP had unleashed a “witch-hunt campaign” against Congress leaders and workers allegedly by misusing the police and investigation agencies. Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring on Tuesday said that his party was preparing to fight all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab.
In his apparent reference to the possible alliance in Punjab, Mr. Sidhu said the decision of the party high command was supreme. “It is for a greater cause. National interest has been kept paramount to honour the spirit of the constitution and to free the enchained institutions which draw their strength from constitutional values,” Mr. Sidhu said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).
“Petty perish pump politics loaded with selfish vested interests should be discarded for safeguarding our Democracy. Elections are not fought for the next election; they are fought for the next generation. Long live INDIA. Judega BHARAT.,” Mr. Sidhu added.