Taksalis resume seat talks with PEP
Chandigarh, March 18
A day after having called off talks with the AAP, the SAD (Taksali) is back negotiating a deal with Sukhpal Khaira’s Punjabi Ekta Party.
As part of the new deal being worked between the two sides, the Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP)-led Punjab Democratic Front could get the Khadoor Sahib seat, while leaving the Anandpur Sahib seat for the Taksalis. If the deal is okayed by the Bahujan Samaj Party (another important constituent of the PDA), the Taksalis could withdraw their candidate Gen JJ Singh (retd) from Khadoor Sahib in favour of Paramjit Kaur Khalra (contesting on PEP ticket).
In lieu of this, say sources, the Anandpur Sahib seat will be left for the Taksalis. Former Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and senior vice-president of the SAD (Taksali) Bir Devinder Singh has thrown his hat in the ring. The PDA was earlier not relenting to give the Anandpur Sahib seat, as the BSP wanted to field its own candidate.
Sewa Singh Sekhwan from the SAD (Taksali) said the offer to withdraw the candidature of Gen JJ Singh (retd) was “under consideration”. Sukhpal Singh Khaira of the PEP, too, confirmed that he had appealed to the Taksalis that in the larger interest of Punjab they should throw their weight behind Paramjit Kaur Khalra, who stood a good chance of winning the polls.
Once the deal between the PEP and SAD (Taksali) is done, they will be meeting the top brass of the BSP later this week to formalise the seat-sharing, say sources. Yesterday, the talks between the AAP and Taksalis had been called off, with both sides unwilling to let go of the Anandpur Sahib seat. Narinder Singh Shergill is the AAP candidate pitted against Bir Devinder for the Anandpur Sahib constituency.