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Monday, September 20, 2021

No alliance, AAP to contest all 117 seats in Punjab

Putting to rest all speculation and reports regarding possible tie ups with other political parties in the state, Delhi MLA and Punjab in-charge, Raghav Chadha, announced that AAP will fight the elections independently.

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina | Chandigarh |
July 27, 2021 12:05:41 pm
No alliance, AAP to contest all 117 seats in PunjabAAP state co in-charge Raghav Chadha addresses the media in Chandigarh Monday. (Express photo)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will not enter into any electoral alliance for the 2022 Assembly polls in Punjab and will fight the elections at all 117 seats on its own symbol.

Putting to rest all speculation and reports regarding possible tie ups with other political parties in the state, Delhi MLA and Punjab in-charge, Raghav Chadha, announced that AAP will fight the elections independently.

“Let me make it clear once and for all. AAP will not enter into any alliance with any party for the Assembly polls. We will fight on all 117 seats under our own steam and without any partners. All those well meaning people who are in other parties and who put Punjab first and not their personal agendas are welcome to join AAP and fight for the betterment of the state,” he said.

The announcement of not entering into any poll alliance follows the categorical statement made by Raghav Chadha via a Tweet Sunday when he dismissed the reports that AAP was holding talks with SAD (Samyukt) or had entered into a seat sharing arrangement with them. The remarks had drawn sharp criticism from SAD (Samyukt) leadership who had called the statement as “politically immature”, adding that their party “was not begging for an alliance”.

There had been attempts by AAP to forge an alliance with SAD (Samyukt) and before that with BSP. However, its efforts did not succeed on both counts and while BSP forged an alliance with SAD, the talks with breakaway Akali group did not fructify at the highest levels.

Chadha was answering questions at the Chandigarh Press Club after inducting prominent Congress leader Gurmeet Singh Khuddian into the party.

Khuddian was earlier the District Congress President of Muktsar and had been sidelined within the party for the past several years. He was slated to fight the 2017 Assembly polls from Lambi constituency, but ended up being the covering candidate for Capt Amarinder Singh who lost against former CM Parkash Singh Badal.

Raghav Chadha’s announcement caught several senior leaders within AAP by surprise too. When reached for their comments, many leaders, who did not want to be named, said they were not aware of the development on not forging any alliance and would have to consult Chadha before giving any statement to the media.

With AAP now having decided to fight the elections on its own in 2022, the party has gone back to the same template that it used in 2017 polls when it fielded candidates in all Assembly constituencies. At the time, the party had fared considerably well in Malwa, while it faced a rout in Doaba and Majha areas of the state.

Nearly five years down the line the situation is quite the same with the party having put up a poor show across the state in the 2019 general elections and the Assembly bypolls. It also failed to perform up to its own leadership’s expectations during the municipal elections in the state.

Amarinder made feeble effort to win in Lambi: Khuddian

Gurmeet Singh Khuddian, who quit Congress two days back, told mediapersons after joining AAP that Capt Amarinder Singh did not make any serious effort to win the 2017 Assembly polls from Lambi, the traditional seat of former CM Parkash Singh Badal.

“My name was removed from the list of candidates and Capt Amarinder fought from the constituency. However, not much effort was put in the campaign as against the Badals and the result was for all to see. Even after the elections, Capt Amarinder did not bother to visit the area even once even though he got more than 40,000 votes from the constituency,” he said.

Disqualification of six ‘AAP mLAs’: HC disposes plea

The Punjab and Haryana High Court Monday disposed of a PIL seeking directions to the Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, to pass “appropriate order” regarding the disqualification of six Aam Aadmi Party leaders as members of Punjab Legislative Assembly.

The matter came up for hearing before the division bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha and Justice Arun Palli, where Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda informed the bench that the Speaker has already issued notice to the six AAP MLAs.

The PIL had been filed by Labh Singh against Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Baldev Singh, Nazar Singh Manshahia, Amarjit Singh Sandoa, Jagdev Singh and Pirmal Singh Dhaula through his counsel, Senior Advocate Baltej Singh Sidhu, contending that that these MLAs had incurred disqualification the day they joined another party on the ground of defection provided under Article l9l (2) and Clause 2(1)(a) of Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

Meanwhile, taking note of the submission made by the AG that notices have already been issued, the division bench disposed of the matter.

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