Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president, today backed Manpreet Singh Badal for contesting from Lambi against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in the 2017 Assembly elections.
Amarinder said here today, “As Manpreet has expressed his desire to field himself from Lambi constituency against the CM, the Congress will put him up as its candidate there. I am sure Manpreet will certainly make Parkash Singh Badal retire from politics with a huge defeat.”
Amarinder said that he would recommend Manpreet’s name to Congress president Sonia Gandhi for allotting him the party ticket from Lambi. In this fight against Parkash Singh Badal, the entire Congress party would support Manpreet in a big way, he added.
The PPCC chief also levelled a charge on Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of helping the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in every Assembly election by fielding its candidates in all 117 Assembly constituencies.
He said the BSP should not help the SAD in a hidden manner. Rather, it should come forward to support the SAD openly. He said there might be some deal between the SAD and BSP to defeat the Congress.
On the announcement made by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that it would declare its candidates in Punjab six months before the Assembly elections, Capt Amarinder said the Congress would also announce its candidates six months before the elections to give sufficient time to the candidates for contesting the elections.
Regarding an alliance with SAD (Longowal) or its merger with the Congress, Amarinder did not give a specific reply.
On setting up a manifesto committee for the Assembly elections, Amarinder said it would be formed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. He said he had formed several committees of experts from different spheres like industry and finance that had been preparing reports to submit those to the manifesto committee. Capt Amarinder said secular forces should fight against communal parties, including SAD and BJP, to defeat them. He said he was hopeful that Communist parties would contest the Assembly elections in alliance with the Congress.