The Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA), which comprises six parties including the BSP and the CPI, on Monday announced candidates for 12 of the state's 13 Lok Sabha seats.
Besides the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI), the PDA includes the Punjab Ekta Party (PEP), the Lok Insaaf Party (LIP), the newly-launched Punjab Manch, and the Revolutionary Marxist Party of India (RMPI), PDA leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira said here on Monday.
The Punjab Manch is led by Patiala MP Dharam Vira Gandhi, who is under suspension from the Aam Aadmi Party since May 2015.
Under the consensus reached by the alliance, the BSP will contest three seats (Anandpur Sahib, Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur), the PEP will also contest three seats (Bathinda, Faridkot and Khadoor Sahib), and so will the LIP (Ludhiana, Amritsar and Fatehgarh Sahib).
The Punjab Manch will contest the Patiala seat, the CPI will contest Ferozepur and the RMPI will contest the Gurdaspur seat.
Khaira said that "the alliance has been forged to liberate Punjab from the clutches of corrupt traditional parties of Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) that have looted the state turn wise for the past many decades".
"Because of the misrule of the two traditional parties (Congress and SAD-BJP), Punjab was facing a colossal debt of Rs. 2.5 lakh crore, farmers and farm labourers are committing suicides in large numbers, lakhs of youth have been rendered jobless and pushed into the vicious circle of drugs, traders and industrialists are facing the wrath of discriminatory policies of successive central governments, all types of mafia is ruling the roost in Punjab and corruption is at all time high."
He said that the alliance leaders reiterated that they stand committed on "issue- based, clean and accountable politics" and their aim is not only sharing of Lok Sabha seats but to work for the betterment of Punjab.
"They will continue their struggle for the long-pending demands of Punjab, be it the river waters, the territorial disputes, our rightful claim to the capital city of Chandigarh and a true federal system with more powers and autonomy to the states," Khaira, the state's former Leader of Opposition but suspended from the AAP in November last year, told media here after a meeting of the alliance partners.
Polling in Punjab will be held on a single day on May 19 in the last phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election.