Suspended Aam Aadmi Party leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Sunday launched the Punjab Democratic Alliance with Lok Insaaf Party, Bahujan Samaaj Party and another suspended AAP MP Dharamvir Gandhi.
Khaira said the alliance will aim to liberate Punjab from the “clutches of corrupt traditional parties and the corrupt feudal families”, reported The Indian Express. The alliance was announced after the week-long “insaaf march” that concluded on Sunday.
The Punjab Democratic Alliance said it would contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and welcome “other like-minded parties” and individuals “who maintain a distance” from the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal, PTI reported.
Lok Insaaf Party legislator Simarjit Bains said “the alliance will clean the corrupt polity of Punjab”. Bains also targeted the state government led by Amarinder Singh for its alleged failure to redress the grievances of small- and medium-scale entrepreneurs and workers.
Bahujan Samaj Party state president Rashpal Raju said the weaker sections and Dalits were being “exploited” through petty welfare schemes of “atta-dal”, meagre pensions, and were being denied quality education, healthcare, affordable housing and employment.
Gandhi criticised the Centre “for encroaching upon the rights of the states and Punjab through gross centralisation”. He said the larger aim of the alliance would be to strive for a “federal India and a democratic Punjab”. Gandhi was suspended from AAP in 2015 and launched his political platform, Punjab Manch, earlier this year.