Updated: September 2, 2021 9:06:18 pm
Former Chief of Army Staff, General JJ Singh (retd), has expressed his desire to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and revealed that he is in touch with senior leaders of the party, including Delhi MLA and in-charge of Punjab unit, Jarnail Singh.
Speaking to media persons in Chandigarh on Thursday, the former Arunachal Pradesh Governor said he wanted to be part of a party that was clean and that had the aim of serving the people of the state. When asked if he wished to contest elections, he said that he wanted to take part in the 2022 Assembly polls. However, he made it clear that he will not contest from Patiala, from where had been fielded in the 2017 polls, and instead said that he would be keen to fight the polls from any of the Assembly seats which form part of the Khadoor Sahib parliamentary constituency.
The former Army Chief had joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) before the 2017 Assembly polls and contested against Captain Amarinder Singh unsuccessfully, going on to even lose his security deposit. He later quit the SAD alleging that the party was hand-in-glove with Amarinder and that the 2017 polls were a fixed match.
Later, Gen JJ Singh joined the SAD (Taksali) and had evinced interest in contesting the 2019 general elections. He was given a ticket from Khadoor Sahib constituency. However, when AAP MLA, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, formed his own party and gave the ticket from Khadoor Sahib to Paramjit Kaur Khalra, Gen JJ Singh withdrew from the contest saying that the agenda of the two parties was common in the Panthic seat.
Gen JJ Singh said he had been in touch with AAP’s Punjab in-charge, Jarnail Singh, but added that he had not met or been in touch with AAP supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Contacted, the AAP leadership refused to comment on the record about any move to induct General JJ Singh into the party. Sources, however, confirmed that the retired General had been in touch with Jarnail Singh in the recent past. “He has also been trying to reach out to the AAP Punjab co-incharge Raghav Chadha, but has not been able to get in touch with him. He has also passed on a message from some intermediaries that he is not interested in any post in the party and that all he wanted was to work in it,” sources said.
“I have expressed my views on the situation in Punjab. I would like to join good committed people who are going to pull Punjab out of the quagmire that we find it in. A party that will serve the people, eliminate or drastically reduce corruption, provide jobs to the unemployed youth, kill the mafia culture, do justice to the farmers, improve the standard of schools, medical set up from village upwards to the districts. The party that can do it is the AAP as proven in Delhi. I wish to do sewa of the people and try to be a role model neta not a raja. So my preferred option will be AAP. What happens next time will tell,” Gen JJ Singh said.
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