On July 22, Punjab Congress leaders have spoken out against the inclusion of the Aam Aadmi Party in the I.N.D.I.A alliance – the Opposition bloc against the BJP-led NDA in 2024 – and said it was “not acceptable”.
Punjab Congress President Amrinder Singh Warring accused the AAP of targeting its party leaders and said former Punjab Deputy Chief Minister OP Soni was “forcibly put in jail”.
“The Congress is fighting against the AAP in Punjab on many issues. The way our leaders were targeted and put in jails is not tolerable. We never complained but now they have arrested our Deputy Chief Minister (former) OP Soni who is sick but was forcibly put in jail. AAP will be responsible if anything happens to him,” said Amrinder Singh Warring.
Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa said they had no reservations against the alliance itself but including AAP was not acceptable. “We opposed the BJP on the ordinance issue. We have not made any political alliance nor are we in favour of any alliance with AAP. We are against this party and its leaders,” said Partap Singh Bajwa.
“We are opposed to them (AAP). We will remain opposed to them. There will be no seat sharing between the two parties here. We will oppose the wrongdoings of their (AAP) Government in the state,” he added.
He further said that, “Congress, for a long time, has been one of the two major parties of Punjab. I am sure that in the 2024 parliamentary elections, Congress will come back with a big margin. One alliance is led by BJP the other by Congress, so when people cast their vote it is going to be either for BJP or for Congress. AAP does not figure anywhere. Why should we form an alliance with AAP?”
Meanwhile, BJP Chief Sunil Jakhar asked, “After the agreement between Congress and AAP, should we now call Congress ‘Government Party’ or ‘Opposition Party’?”
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal called I.N.D.I.A a “puppet show” and said the AAP and Congress would perform a puppet show and the strings would be pulled by Delhi.
“With strings pulled from Delhi, these figures (Punjab AAP and Congress leaders) filled with straw will be seen performing a puppet dance and disgrace Punjab by bartering away the Punjabis’ vital interests to promote Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi in the country,” said Sukhbir Badal.
“None of these puppets who had been abusing one another till yesterday will have the courage to tell their puppeteers that they can’t even look one another in the eye when they will be forced to share the stage against the sons of Punjab’s soil, the Shiromani Akali Dal. Meanwhile, as Punjabis cry out for relief, CM Mann will continue to squander people’s money to promote Arvind Kejriwal outside Punjab”, he added.
Reacting to this, AAP leader Raghav Chadha said, “Congress and only the Congress has to take a decision on it. Who are we to instruct them on this? But I was present in the meeting that took place in Bangalore. There, all the opposition public representatives were of the same opinion that we have to come together to save the country, bypassing these three important words, personal ambition, differences and differences.”
Congress Presidnet Mallikarjun Kharge has said that, I.N.D.I.A stood for the “Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance”. The development came as top leaders of 26 Opposition parties from across the country met in Bengaluru on July 18 to discuss a united strategy to take on the ruling NDA alliance at the Centre, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.