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Ahead of MCD polls, Congress sees leaders jumping to AAP, BJP

🔴 At least 12 out of 31 councillors from the Congress have left the party, including its biggest leader, Mukesh Goel, who joined AAP. Goel was the leader of the party in the North MCD.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi |
December 27, 2021 1:57:40 am
MCD polls, Congress, AAP, BJP, Delhi Congress, Delhi news, Delhi city news, New Delhi, India news, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsIn the SAD, councillor Raja Iqbal Singh, who is the current North MCD mayor, and former MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa have joined the BJP. SAD former national vice-president Sardar Kuldeep Singh Bhogal also joined the BJP last week. (Representational/File)

Ahead of the MCD polls scheduled for April, the Delhi Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal in the capital are seeing a depletion in their ranks with several leaders jumping ship to join either the AAP or BJP.

At least 12 out of 31 councillors from the Congress have left the party, including its biggest leader, Mukesh Goel, who joined AAP. Goel was the leader of the party in the North MCD.

In the SAD, councillor Raja Iqbal Singh, who is the current North MCD mayor, and former MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa have joined the BJP. SAD former national vice-president Sardar Kuldeep Singh Bhogal also joined the BJP last week.

According to BJP insiders, a fresh push is being made to reach out to the Sikh community — a  meeting of its Sikh cell was held on Friday while Home Minister Amit Shah visited Sirsa’s residence on Saturday. “We have sent out a message that SAD leaders are welcome; there are more people who we are in talks with,” said BJP national spokesperson R P Singh.

A senior BJP leader said during the Sikh cell meeting, it was decided that community leaders will reach out to people and tell them of the work done by PM Narendra Modi for them.

However, Delhi SAD president Harmeet Singh Kalka said the party is intact and it will fight the polls: “Some people have left but we have a fresh energy from those who won the gurdwara committee elections.”

In the Congress camp, out of the 12 councillors who left, 10 have joined AAP. Delhi Congress president Anil Chaudhary said, “Yes, it’s true that people have left but those from other parties have also joined. These things happen around elections, but it won’t damage the party.” Insiders, however, said more than one-third of the leadership switching sides is a matter of concern.

AAP leader Durgesh Pathak said the main reason behind people joining the party is because they are convinced by the leadership skills of CM Arvind Kejriwal.

A senior AAP leader said, “For Congress leaders, it is easier to join AAP because ideologically they are closer to us than BJP. Secondly there is an impression that three years of anti-incumbency has built up against BJP leaders in the MCDs.”

The BJP has been ruling all three MCDs since 2012.

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