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Uma Bharti's party to contest Punjab polls

Written by: Staff

Chandigarh, July 4: With an eye on the assembly polls in Punjab, the Bharatiya Janshakti Party led by Uma Bharti is keen on an alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a strong ally of the BJP.

''We are holding talks with SAD chief Prakash Singh Badal and are hopeful of positive results,'' the party's Organising Secretary Vishwanathan said at a media conference here today.

Asked to elaborate on his statement, Mr Vishwanathan said that there was a possibility that the BJP may look elsewhere, if it was not satisfied with its alliance with the SAD. In such circumstances, the Akalis may like to seek alliances elsewhere, to garner the Hindu vote, he said adding that his party would be a good option in this respect.

Besides, we are also considering forging alliances with other ''like minded'' parties including the BSP, he said. He also did not rule out the possibility of being party of a front which would also have the BJP and SAD.

Mr Vishwanathan revealed that his party was presently focusing on just 15 to 20 of the 117 assembly constituencies. However, in the months ahead the party would strengthen its hold in other segments as well, he added.

The party will formally launch its membership drive in Punjab and Chandigarh on July 6, the 106th birth anniversay of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. A tree plantation drive would also be launched in Punjab on the occasion, Mr Vishwanathan said.

The Organising Secretary also disclosed that the party chief Uma Bharti would visit Chandigarh and Punjab in the last week of this month. On July 31, she will address a public rally at Jalandhar.

Mr Vishwanathan announced a 11-member committee for Punjab headed by Mr Pawan Valecha from Ferozpur, who has been designated as Convenor. He claimed that a number of members of this committee had quit the BJP. Prominent amongst these were Ashutosh Vinayak, a former president of the Punjab unit of the Akhil Bharatiya Yuva Morcha (ABVP).


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