Mann toughens stand on Congress, talks of going it alone in LS polls

The Punjab chief minister’s statement came in reaction to a Punjab Congress leaders’ opposition to the proposed pre-poll alliance with the ruling AAP for the 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Mann toughens stand on Congress, talks of going it alone in LS polls

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann

With Punjab Congress leaders opposing any seat-sharing arrangement with the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said here on Wednesday that AAP knows how to contest and win elections without an alliance.

Responding to a question regarding the speculation over alliance between AAP and Congress in the state, the CM said it was a hypothetical question but AAP has no problem in going solo in the electoral battle.

“AAP fought Punjab Assembly polls alone and won 92 seats, it is in power in Delhi for the third time. It received 13 per cent votes in Gujarat. It is the youngest entity to become a national party. So, we know how to fight and win the polls alone. We know how to form and run governments,” Mann said.


Earlier in the day, Punjab Tourism Minister Anmol Gagan Maan said there would be no alliance of the AAP or seat sharing with Congress in Punjab. She informed that the decision of not having an alliance with the Congress had been taken by the AAP’s state unit under the leadership of Bhagwant Mann.

These statements of top AAP leaders in Punjab came on a day former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu said the decision of the party high command is supreme. “The decision of the party high command is 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. 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. Jurrega BHARAT,” Sidhu said on X.

The statement came a day after a Punjab Congress meeting chaired by the state chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring in which party leaders expressed opposition to the proposed prepoll alliance with the ruling AAP for the 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The AAP and the Congress are part of the Opposition coalition, Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), formed to take on the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Sidhu’s statement came a day after Congress leaders said alliance with the main rival AAP would hurt the party’s prospects in Punjab and also demoralise the party supporters.

Sources said they were of the view that alliance with the ruling party would make the Congress lose ground as the main Opposition party and help the Bharatiya Janata Party as well as the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal).

Party leaders asked the Punjab Congress chief and Leader of Opposition, Partap Singh Bajwa, to take up the matter with the party high command and dissuade party leadership against the move.

This Congress meeting was held a day after AAP leader and Punjab finance minister Harpal Singh Cheema said the party Party would contest the Parliamentary polls in the state in alliance with Congress “in order to save the country, its democracy and Constitution”.

Cheema said the INDIA alliance has been formed to save the country’s democracy and Constitution. “The aim behind the alliance is very big, for which small differences must be kept aside. Our priority is to save the country and its democracy and Constitution,” he had said.

Reacting to the Punjab Congress’ opposition to the alliance with the AAP, Cheema said the reaction of the state unit does not mean anything because the national leaderships have decided to contest the elections together. “Brushing aside our differences, we are fighting together to stop the BJP from succeeding in its efforts to silence all opposition in the country which is very dangerous for our democracy,” he said.