The suspended Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) suspended member of Parliament (MP) from Patiala, Dr Dharamvir Gandhi, on Thursday announced the formation of new political forum ‘Punjab Manch’, which is expected to evolve into a formal political party in the course of time.

Addressing a Press conference in Chandigarh, Gandhi said that ‘Punjab Manch’ will be formed into a regional party in next two months and will contest the Parliamentary elections in 2019 and Punjab Assembly elections in 2022.

“The theme and objective is ‘Federal India, Democratic Punjab’, and its vision is for a country strongly rooted in democracy, arising out of a comity of individual states exercising federal powers, as envisioned in the Constitution which speaks of a Union of States”, he said.

Gandhi said, the ‘Punjab Manch’ believes that the essence and true destiny of India can only be achieved by the threads of its cultures and races working fully and harmoniously, weaving a much richer, holistic tapestry.

At present, the sum of its individual constituent parts are largely subservient to the yoke of an overly-strong, stifling, and unsuitably-centralised government, he added.

Gandhi further said, the diversity of our country is unique worldwide but the imposition of a centralised political structure has limited the opportunities for a full, coaxial, flowering of its different national, regional, religious, linguistic, ethnic and cultural identities.

“Punjab Manch aims to build a country where diversities of all hues, enjoy opportunities to flower as part of a larger bouquet, fully realising the idea of unity in ?diversity”, he said.

To achieve this objective, the forum shall strive for the correction of distorted centre-state relations to achieve a truly federal India, he added. The forum also stands for fully democratising state administration and building a democratic society at large.

To this end, it appeals to all Punjabis to unite on the basis of Equality, Liberty and Fraternity, overcoming all prevailing divisions based on caste, gender, race and religion in Punjabi society, Gandhi added.