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Hopeful of alliances in Punjab: AAP leader Bhagwant Mann

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Press Trust of India Chandigarh
AAP senior leader Bhagwant Mann said Wednesday that he was still hopeful of alliances in Punjab for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
The Sangrur MP, who was reappointed as party's state unit chief at a function here, said his party would go all out to reach out to the remotest village in Punjab.
"We are in talks with the SAD (Taksali) and the BSP. They are holding meetings with (AAP rebel group) Sukhpal Khaira group and we too have met them. We are hopeful that an alternative against the Congress and the SAD-BJP will materialise. We hope an alliance will come up," Mann told reporters here.
On speculations of an alliance with the Congress, Mann said, "that matter is clear, there will be no tie up".
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Leader of Opposition Harpal Cheema and many other AAP MLAs from the state were present at the function.
Mann had resigned as state unit chief in March 2018 following party supremo Arvind Kejriwal's apology to former minister Bikram Singh Majithia.
"It was a conspiracy to make Kejriwal busy in 34 defamation court cases (referring to other cases as well). But apology doesn't mean that Bikram Majithia has been given clean chit and absolved of all charges. It is now the responsibility of the ruling Congress to gather evidence and take the guilty to task," he said.
Majithia had filed a defamation case against Kejriwal and Ashish Khetan in May 2015 accusing them of tarnishing his image by alleging his involvements with drug trade.
Talking about Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who has also floated his own outfit, Sisodia said, "AAP is a party based on principles. More than any posts, interests of the people of the state are paramount. Those who work for Punjab's interests, we will stand with folded hands before him. But anyone who will work only to protect his post, we will not side with that person."

"People have high hopes from the AAP, we are working to bring the main issues facing people into national discourse," he said.
Replying to a question on saying no to liquor, Mann said some people with vested interests were hell bent on tarnishing his image by creating a perception that he was a drunkard.
Mann, who was often criticised by political opponents for "excessive drinking," had earned high praise from Kejriwal for giving up alcohol.

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First Published: Jan 30 2019 | 8:15 PM IST

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