Sanjha Morcha blows poll bugle, says Manpreet is CM candidate

To kickstart poll run with 'Save Punjab's Dignity' yatra from Nov 6

People's Party of Punjab president Manpreet Badal will be the chief ministerial candidate of Sanjha Morcha (United Front), for 2012 Assembly elections, which was formally announced on Monday. The four-party alliance has named Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal) president Surjit Singh Barnala as the patron and Manpreet as its chairman.

Flanked by SAD (Longowal), CPI and CPM leaders, Manpreet described the alliance as a meeting of minds on principles of secularism and nationalism to restore the dignity of the state and its people. "The PPP will be the senior alliance partner of the Morcha. CPI and CPM, being national parties, will contest on the elections on their own party symbols, while the PPP and SAD (Longowal) will fight under a common election symbol," he said while addressing mediapersons here.

The distribution of seats among the alliance partners for the 117-member assembly is yet to be decided, Manpreet added.

On being queried as to who the Morcha would project as the CM candidate, CPI's Joginder Dayal said, "As the chairman of the alliance and senior partner, Manpreet will be the CM candidate".

The Morcha in the build-up to the Assembly elections would launch 'Izzat Sambhal Yatra' (Save Punjab's dignity) on November 6 from Dhudike, the birthplace of freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai. "There is a acute sense of embarrassment among the Punjabis in the state, country and all over the world. The two-month yatra will cover the entire state and would tell people about the deplorable condition in which Punjab finds itself in economically, socially, morally and culturally," Badal said.

Stating that the yatra shall be a continuation of his earlier Jago Punjab Movement, Manpreet said, "Today, we feel strengthened by the support of the common Punjabis. Now we are going back to them, to exhort them to save the state from the most venal variety of politics seen anywhere in the world."

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