Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, the Chief of Punjab Congress, has indirectly directed remarks at Navjot Singh Sidhu, signaling party discipline ahead of an impending high command meeting. He emphasized the national leadership’s stance that dissenting personal opinions will lead to expulsion from the party, firmly stating that defiance won’t be tolerated. Acknowledging the prior lack of coordination among party leaders during the 2022 assembly elections, Raja Warring underscored its adverse impact on the electoral outcome.
Raja Warring disclosed that a strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be charted during the meeting. However, he clarified that the party high command hasn’t yet engaged in discussions regarding an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) under the I.N.D.I. coalition for the Lok Sabha elections. He stressed the intent to present the perspectives of party leaders and supporters before the high command.
All decisions will be under the high command’s purview. The pivotal meeting will convene 34 senior leaders from Punjab Congress. A significant session is scheduled in Delhi on Tuesday with the Punjab Congress Party High Command, likely involving deliberations about the Lok Sabha elections and strategies for contesting in Punjab under the I.N.D.I. coalition.The meeting aims to gauge the high command’s stance on seat sharing between both parties. Furthermore, discussions may revolve around Navjot Singh Sidhu’s situation.
Former minister and Congress leader Pargat Singh affirmed there will be no Congress-AAP alliance under the I.N.D.I.A coalition for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Punjab. He expressed discontent with the AAP government’s performance, anticipating considerable dissatisfaction leading up to the elections. Pargat Singh stressed the party’s stance against allying with AAP, asserting the alliance won’t materialize. Devendra Yadav, the new Punjab Congress in-charge, highlighted that leaders’ and supporters’ opinions would weigh in while forming alliances in the state.
Additionally, several previously departed senior leaders might return. However, the decision on allying with AAP will rest with the party high command. Meanwhile, Congress senior leader Jairam Ramesh weighed in on seat sharing, indicating it would be decided based on the state’s circumstances and an open-minded approach.
Within the I.N.D.I.A coalition, opposition figures, including AAP’s Partap Singh Bajwa and Congress Chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, display reluctance to ally with AAP. Punjab’s Congress leaders aren’t inclined towards sharing seats with AAP. Former minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu and former Punjab Congress Chief Ravneet Singh Bittu, however, support an alliance with AAP.
Under Captain Amarinder Singh’s leadership, Congress led the government in Punjab during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, securing 8 out of 13 seats. In contrast, the Akali-BJP alliance claimed 4 seats, and AAP won one. As the 2024 Lok Sabha elections approach, Congress grapples with internal strife, reminiscent of the 2022 assembly elections. The party faces factional divisions, marked by a substantial reduction from 78 to 18 seats during the last elections. Meanwhile, AAP’s landslide victory clinched 92 seats, seizing state power. However, the I.N.D.I.A coalition against the NDA comprised AAP and Congress.
Presently, AAP holds power in Punjab, while Congress remains in opposition. Consequently, Congress leaders in Punjab are hesitant to form an alliance. Meanwhile, discussions between BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) reveal contrasting strategies, adding intensity to their election preparations.