BJP LEADER and former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan shall be joining the Aam Aadmi party (AAP) next week. Dhawan claimed that he shall be contesting on AAP ticket from Chandigarh in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Last week, Dhawan had met AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal at his residence in New Delhi. Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, Dhawan said that a party event shall be held and he along with his 5,000 supporters shall be joining AAP in the presence of party leaders.
Dhawan, who had been maintaining distance from the BJP for quite some time now, said that the AAP has assured that he shall be party’s candidate for Chandigarh in 2019 LS polls. “A formal announcement of my name shall also be made on November 18,” Dhawan claimed.
In the last Lok Sabha polls in 2014, Gul Panag contested on AAP ticket from Chandigarh and came third, securing 1.08 lakh votes. She was defeated by BJP leader Kirron Kher, who is the incumbent Member of Parliament, Chandigarh.
Responding to Dhawan’s decision of joining AAP, city BJP chief Sanjay Tandon refused to comment. He said, “I will answer all the questions at an appropriate time.”
In the last one year, Dhawan has remained conspicuous by his absence in the BJP events. His move of hosting leaders Shatrughan Sinha and Yashwant Sinha, who had been critical of the BJP, had also created a flutter in the party last year.
Reacting to the question that BJP leaders in the party had been accusing him of being a party hopper, Dhawan said, “Why does one join a political party: to work for people of his constituency? I supported Kirron ji in 2014 polls but not a single promise made to people of Chandigarh in the manifesto was fulfilled. I joined politics to serve people and when promises made to people are not being kept, why should I be in such a party?”
MP Kirron Kher refused to comment on the issue.
Gul Panag, who was AAP’s candidate in Chandigarh in 2014 LS polls, said, “Political Affairs Committee of the party is best suited to comment on this, as ultimately it’s their decision. Harmohan ji is a political veteran, and his political acumen will surely help the party. As for me, my infant son is keeping me busy.”
While the Congress is likely to field Pawan Bansal, the BJP is likely to repeat Kirron Kher as its candidate for 2019 LS polls. Whether Dhawan’s move will impact the Congress party’s prospects in the polls, Bansal said, “It will not impact the Congress prospects at all. The situation of Aam Aadmi Party is altogether different this time as compared to what it was in 2014.”
Dhawan was the Member of Parliament from Chandigarh constituency in 1989 from Janta Party and then served as Civil Aviation Minister in the Chandra Shekhar Cabinet. Dhawan has previously remained associated with various political parties, including Samajwadi Janata Party, Indian National Lok Dal, Chandigarh Vikas Manch, Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress.