ThePunjab Democratic Alliance has reached a consensus on fielding candidates on nine out of 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state to provide a "clean third alternative to the corrupt traditional parties", an alliance member said Tuesday.
The PDA comprising Punjab Ekta Party, BSP, Lok Insaaf Party and Punjab Manch decided to field candidates on nine Lok Sabha seats at its meeting in Jalandhar late Monday, Punjab Ekta Party chief Sukhpal Singh Khaira said here.
The meeting decided BSP will contest Anandpur Sahib, Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur Lok Sabha seats, leaving Bathinda and Fardikot for Punjab Ekta Party, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Fatehgarh Sahib for Lok Insaaf Party and Patiala for suspended AAP MP Dharamvira Gandhi's Punjab Manch.
The remaining four seats to be contested by the alliance would be decided shortly, Khaira said.
Khaira said the alliance has been forged to "liberate" Punjab from the "clutches of corrupt traditional parties Congress, SAD and BJP which have looted the state by turn for the past many decades".
On behalf of the alliance, Khaira said as a result of the "misrule" by the traditional parties, Punjab has been facing a colossal debt of Rs 2.5 lakh crore, leaving farmers and farm labourers to commit suicides and rendering lakhs of youth jobless and pushed into the vicious cycle of drugs.
He said traders and industrialists are facing the wrath of discriminatory policies of successive Central governments with all types of mafia "ruling the roost" in Punjab.
The alliance leaders claimed they stand committed to "issue-based, clean and accountable politics" and their aim is to sharing not only Lok Sabha seats but to work for the betterment of Punjab.
The PDA will continue their struggle for long-pending demands of Punjab, be it the river waters, the territorial disputes, the rightful claim to the capital city of Chandigarh or a true federal system with more powers and autonomy to the states, Khaira said.
Khaira said it was unfortunate that the Akali Dal Taksali, a breakaway outfit from Shiromani Akali Dal unilaterally announced their candidate for the Anandpur Sahib seat while deliberations were still underway on seat sharing.
He said the PDA strived for complete unity of the opposition ranks and urged the Akali Dal Taksali leaders to withdraw their candidate from Anandpur sahib and join the alliance in the larger interest of Punjab.
The PDA also called upon all like-minded parties and forces that maintain equidistance from "corrupt traditional parties" Congress, SAD and BJP to join hands with them.
He said those present at the meeting included Punjab Manch MP Dharamvira Gandhi, BSP's Punjab unit president Rashpal Singh Raju and incharge Randhir Singh Beniwal and Lok Insaaf Party president Simarjit Singh Bains among others.
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