Published August 22, 2012 | 7:06 pm
The party that saw a quick climb to fame and was projected as people’s party is finding it hard to even keep its own people and is fast disintegrating. The much touted third alternative in Punjab, People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) chief Manpreet Singh Badal now seems to be presiding over an organisation that is losing its sheen with each passing day.
Manpreet is not getting any new converts from SAD and Congress to his party and his old colleagues are deserting him and now doubts are being expressed about Manpreet’s leadership qualities, though a couple of months ago he was projected as an iconic leader and a panacea for all ills plaguing the state.
The kite, the symbol of the People’s Party of Punjab (PPP), even failed to take flight in Punjab though it forged a third front with the CPI and CPI(M) in Punjab. Having been elected for four consecutive times from his traditional Gidderbaha constituency and rising to the coveted position of Punjab Finance Minister, Manpreet emerged as a phenomenal force when he parted ways with parent party Shiromani Akali Dal SAD, a year before the assembly polls.
In fact, not only had the PPP failed to open its account, its President Manpreet Singh Badal lost from both seats of Maur and Gidderbaha from where he contested. Only six candidates, besides Manpreet, secured more than 20,000 votes in the assembly elections.
After election results, Manpreet suffered another setback when the PPP’s Fatehgarh Sahib candidate Didar Singh Bhatti opted to return to the SAD. His steadfast supporters Jagbir Singh Brar and Kushaldeep Dhillon were won over by the Congress in the runup to the assembly elections. Now, former MLA Bir Devinder Singh has quit his post in the party, alleging autocratic style of Manpreet behind the step.
Manpreet Singh Badal is on the crossroads of his career. The blend of rare abilities as he stands out honest, reformist, intelligent and articulate, is falling short to reverse his downfall.
The party deserters allege that Manpreet lost credibility because he did not follow the agenda set by him and he never trusts his party commanders.
Now there are rumours all round that Manpreet Badal will join Congress. Sources said the Congress is not averse to an electoral tie-up with the PPP and the Left parties. Under this tie-up the Bathinda parliamentary seat could be left for the PPP as Manpreet wishes to fight against Harsimrat Badal and it would be a herculean task for him to defeat Harsimrat , all alone.
Though at this time Manpreet is rubbishing the rumours of his readiness to join Congress. Manpreet responded to media persons that the party was established to bring about a change in Punjab for better, and it is fully committed to that and under no circumstance it is daunted by the prospect of being faced with mighty rivals.
Meanwhile party’s senior leader SS Johal today rejected any impact on the party from Bir Devinder’s resignation. At a press conference in Ludhiana, Johal said Bir Devinder Singh took the decision in a hurry and his absence would not hurt the party in any manner.