Chandigarh: Amid reports suggesting that the Congress could go in for an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) at the national level, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday made it clear that the party did not need an alliance to fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in the state.
Given the public sentiment in Punjab, where the Congress had won all the recent elections (including Gurdaspur and Shahkot) with record margins, the party did not require any alliance for the parliamentary elections next year. The Congress will win hands down on its own, he said here.
Pointing out that the AAP had lost the support of the people in Punjab completely, the Chief Minister clarified that he had not at any stage mentioned that he was open to an alliance between the Congress and AAP in Punjab.
The fact was that given the Congress sweep in the state in all recent elections, beginning with last year’s Assembly polls, the party did not really need any political coalition for next year’s parliamentary polls, he said.
Amarinder Singh, however, reiterated that the final decision on pre-poll alliances rested with the Congress high command and its decision would be accepted and followed by all the state units, be it in Punjab or elsewhere.
Alliances are the prerogative of the national party, and they will take a decision at a suitable time. Several factors, including winnability, are usually taken into account by the party before going in for an alliance.
As far as the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) is concerned, it will share its views with the party high command as and when the latter seeks the same, he said.
As in the past, the national leadership of the party will take into account the ground situation in every state and the opinion of the state unit before taking a final decision on any alliance. The PPCC would also be internally discussing the issue as and when required to build a consensus on the matter, he added.
The Congress had swept the assembly elections in Punjab early last year, winning 77 seats in the 117-member assembly. It has won three by-elections in the state since then.
The Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance, which ruled Punjab for a decade (2007-2017), finished third in the assembly poll results.
The AAP, in its first outing in the assembly polls in Punjab, ended up as the main opposition party, though winning only 20 seats. It had won four out of 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab in the 2014 general elections.