Dharamvira Gandhi’s plans for fourth front in Punjab flops


Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) rebel Dr Dharamvira Gandhi’s plan to stitch up a fourth front in Punjab before the assembly elections has failed to take off.

With hopes of floating “a regional party to fight for true federal powers to the state”, the Patiala MP gathered AAP splinter groups Swaraj Party (led by professor Manjit Singh), Amritsar volunteers, and Apna Punjab Party for a “round-table conference” here on Sunday. Akali rebel Pargat Singh of the Awaaz-e-Punjab forum also came over. The meeting went on for three hours but arrived at nothing.

The suspended AAP MP later told the media that “I would like the amalgam of these dissidents to contest the elections as a political front of the state’s own people”. He clarified that he would not contest, as he would like to remain the MP of Patiala, “for the people who elected me”.

When asked, Manjit Singh of the Democratic Swaraj Party — which is part of Dr Gandhi’s front — said they would invite the Left parties at an appropriate time.

Dr Gandhi stressed the need for a “genuine regional political party”. He said the Akali Dal had betrayed Punjab, while AAP and the Congress had compromised the state’s interests on the directions of their high command. “We will work to build an alternative,” he said. It was also decided that the front would not confine itself to contesting the 2017 elections, but aim at being active afterwards too.